An interview with Olivia Thompson, Business Development Co-ordinator

How long have you worked for Summers-Inman?

I have been with Summers-Inman since February 2021.

How did you get into your current role?

I started working at Kier and then joined Summers-Inman after working with Cementation Skanska.

You have joined as Business Development Co-ordinator, can you tell us a bit more about your role?

I work out of the Leeds office but on national projects. I support the business development team on winning new work, through frameworks and open tenders. I also support with award submissions and attending client events, although there has been less of them this year!

I report directly into our Business Development Director but work very closely with colleagues in all our offices and support on regional bids when needed.

What type of projects do you work on?

We work across lots of sectors. We write bids across project management, quantity surveying, principal designer and employers’ agent services, among others, for the residential, healthcare, commercial, local authority and education sectors, just to name a few. No two days are the same, which I love!  

What would you say is the most important aspect of your role?  

Working with the rest of the team and making sure that everything is perfect. Summers-Inman have a great reputation and I want to keep it that way!

From your own experience, what would you say are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the industry today?

At the moment, I think the biggest challenge is probably the skills gap and maybe the perception that all jobs in construction focus on the trades when this is definitely not the case. On the other hand, there are some great opportunities out there to introduce more young people to the idea of a career in construction, particularly with all the technology we have now.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into the industry?

It’s a great industry to be in, go for it. The people are so supportive and there are great opportunities to learn and progress. I feel like I have so much more to learn but I know that when I am ready, there will be opportunities for me. People stay here a long time and I intend to do the same.

What’s it like working for Summers-Inman?

Honestly, I can’t fault the culture. They have an excellent reputation and that’s something I wanted to be part of. We are busy but it’s such a supportive team that there is always someone to give you help when you need it. People pick things up even though we aren’t working in an office together.

And finally, what would career plan B have been?

I always struggle to answer this because I honestly love what I do. I ended up in this industry by accident when I graduated but it’s been a happy accident!

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