Amie began her working life in an activity centre while still in school. Attending an all-girls secondary school, Amie and her classmates were guided towards further education options and future careers in teaching, pharmaceuticals, beauty, hairdressing, and other typically female professions. But she knew these were not for her.
As a child, Amie was strongly influenced by her grandfather, who set up his own haulage business, and by her father, who did likewise. She recalls that her father had a concrete truck with a conveyor, and that was about the extent of her knowledge of the construction industry! In fact, it was Amie’s father who pointed her in the direction of a course in Quantity Surveying and Construction Economics. After her leaving certificate, Amie was accepted onto the Quantity Surveying programme at TUD (formerly DIT), where she was one of only five other girls in a class of 60 – which, unfortunately, is quite reflective of the industry. This imbalance is changing, but perhaps not quickly enough.
In her second year in college, she began an internship with McKeon Group and loved the practical experience on site. While she recognises that as a young woman in the construction industry there are not many people who look like her, once on site, she has learnt that it is all about performance and delivery. And she should know, since joining the McKeon team, Amie has worked on a number of prestigious projects including DCU SALIS – the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University, a bespoke fit out at TII, Parkgate Business Centre in Dublin 8 and a private residential development at Dún na Rí, Swords Road in Malahide, County Dublin.
In recent months Amie, together with other members of the McKeon team, arranged a site visit for local children to one of McKeon Group’s public realm projects on the iconic DCU campus. The idea was to allow the young visitors to experience how a project progresses and to expose them to construction as a possible future career. You can read more about this site visit at https://mckeon.ie/removing-barriers-and-normalising-diversity-is-everyones-business/
Amie is currently working with the team on the new two-storey, 1,300 sqm STEM building at Dundalk Institute of Technology to provide additional teaching and lab spaces for a further 760 science, technology and engineering students. Further project details at https://mckeon.ie/project-update-1300sqm-extension-at-dundalk-institute-of-technology/
Best advice for newcomers to the industry?
Looking ahead, Amie is excited about her career prospects within the industry and is already acquiring the necessary breadth of project experience to become chartered. When asked about the best career advice she has ever received, Amie leans on the wise words of Room to Improve QS Lisa O’Brien, who advised:
‘Put your energy into being a great QS and everything else will fall into place.’
When she is not working, Amie’s passions are fast cars (she’s a Colin McCrae fan) and spending time with her three dogs.
Finally, if you bump into Amie on one of our sites, ask her how the family dogs got their names… it might surprise you!