At Careys, we strive to ensure that our team members learn the required skills to be able to effectively carry out their responsibilities – all whilst keeping their ongoing development in mind.

We safeguard each and every one of our employees by always supplying them with the appropriate equipment that they need to be able to do their work as safely as possible, and to a high standard.

From our perspective, it’s important to continually concentrate on detecting potential risks and identifying opportunities. This dual focus enables us to both successfully mitigate possible hazards and consistently deliver high-quality projects.

This week, we caught up with Assistant Contract Specialist, Shauna Ferry, whose role involves identifying and managing risk and opportunities across our projects. Shauna explains how she landed in her current role, after changing her career aspirations, and tells us about the variety her role brings – both in terms of the types of projects she works on and where they are located.

Joining Careys

I joined Careys in February 2016.

My day to day responsibilities

Typically, I carry out reviews of all the contract documents that are sent to us by clients and which are included within invitations to tender. I assess and report on any risks within these documents, and, if required, prepare and submit proposed amendments to our clients. The ultimate aim of what I do is to manage and mitigate risk to the business.

For internal purposes, I work with project teams to develop the risk registers, so that they fully identify and understand potential issues or opportunities within the project. I then deal directly with clients to negotiate any necessary amendments. Additionally, I make sure that the correct bonds, parent company guarantees (PCGs), collateral warranties and insurances have all been reviewed, and that the final wording is accepted before a contract is signed.

Deciding on a career in construction

Entering the construction industry was a whole new career for me. I initially completed a degree in psychology and earned a master’s in criminology. However, after living in London for a few years, I decided I wanted to try something completely different. Careys gave me the opportunity to work on site and complete a two-year, part-time master’s course in quantity surveying.

What I enjoy most about my role

I particularly enjoy working with all the pre-construction teams during the tender process – on things like planning, estimating, submissions, design, etc. I find this collaborative environment really motivating.

I’m also lucky to work on projects that span all regions in Scotland, Ireland, the north of England and Milton Keynes. Working across three different legal jurisdictions brings a variety of different challenges.

My favourite project and why

I can’t name a favourite project, as I am fortunate enough to work on lots of different projects, both at pre-tender stage and through to live projects. They all come with their unique challenges and rewards, but each time I’m able to hand over a contract to a project team – that I’ve helped to become fully aware and informed of the risks and opportunities – is very rewarding.

My advice to anyone looking to pursue a similar career

I would advise someone to not be afraid of trying a new career at any stage in their life, and that always being keen to learn something new is a great asset to have.

My proudest achievement

I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to assist in the contractual aspect of how we win a project. There is a great sense of achievement to being part of how we arrive at a position where we can sign the final contract and know that the company is winning good work.

The culture at Careys

I believe the culture at Careys is inclusive, and there’s a supportive environment that makes coming to work really enjoyable.