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Meet the Team: Ella Seddon

Meet Ella, the latest addition to our Project Management department – with an effervescent personality and diverse experience under her belt, Ella has already become an integral part of COEL.

In honour of the start of a flagship project in Oxford, of which Ella is PM, we decided to sit down and find out more about Ella, her role, being a woman in construction and much more.

Can you describe a typical day at your job?

That’s a hard question to answer as my days tend to look very different, however, here is what I normally tend to do in one day…

I usually wake up at around 5 am and take my dog out. I then go see my horses before heading into the office.

Then it’s time for a second cup of coffee, while I respond to emails and have a look at which staff are on site.

I also check that all necessary permits are in place, that we are on track and meeting all the deadlines set out in our project programme and touch base with the Quantity Surveyors to ensure we are still on budget.

The rest of the day is filled with internal and external meetings and dealing with any issues or challenges that might arise – fit-out projects are unpredictable and I have be ready to react quickly.

Ella seddon professional image

Did you always want to work in Construction?

No, I went to university and studied criminology and psychology because I wanted to be a prison psychologist.

When I left university, like any other student, I had to get a job. I stumbled into the industry by getting a job as an admin for a housing association. That’s when I fell in love with the construction industry.

I worked really hard – and still do – to learn as much as possible about different trades, the relevant legislations and processes.

Construction is an industry that’s ever changing, which is one of the things that attracted me to it as you truly have to continuously adapt and learn to be successful in it.

How has your experience been in such a male dominated industry?

I have honestly never felt like being a woman meant I couldn’t continue to chase my passion and my dreams in construction.

Even though people will often say that I must get discriminated against due to being a woman, I don’t think I get discriminated against at all.

I know the value I add to the rooms that I walk into and I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I have acquired over my career – so I can confidently say that I bring the same value to any project that I run, as my male peers.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about going into Project Management?

My biggest piece of advice is: don’t take offense, don’t take things personally.

Be prepared to have bad days or times during a project where you feel like you are not going to be able to get it over the line, but just know that the end date is always in sight.

When you are not working what do you like to do?

I have two horses that take up a lot of my time when I’m not at work and I also show jump in my spare time.

I also have a crazy Labrador that I enjoy taking out on long hikes at the weekend – Peak District is one of my favourite places, so I spend a lot of time there.

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