Meet The Team: Kirsty Penfold
Kirsty’s journey to being a part of COEL started at the end of a two year adventure in Australia. After two years of travelling, Kirsty returned to the UK looking for a job. Kirsty applied numerous temporary jobs before finally joining us. Despite planning on only staying with us for a couple of months, five years on and Kirsty is still a happy member of our team.
As a result, we decided to sit down with Kirsty, our Maintenance Manager, to find out more about what her day-to-day looks like, what attracted her to this position, and much more.
Can you describe a typical day at your job?
I always start my day with a nice bowl of porridge (if it doesn’t explode in the microwave)!
Each day is so different, but they can include:
- Going out to client meetings
- Dealing with callouts
- Quoting for small projects and quoting for pre-planned maintenance contracts
- Arranging our engineers’ schedules.
Scheduling and liaising with contractors are quite a big part of the job as well.
I usually end my day with some form of exercise, whether it’s a walk or going to the gym. However, if it’s a busy day, an afternoon nap is usually required.
What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome in your role?
Communication is probably the biggest one. We have to ensure that all parties involved, from line managers to clients and subcontractors, know exactly what is happening and when.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about going into the Maintenance sector?
There are a lot of moving parts to the maintenance department, so organisation is key. I’d say that if you like being busy, you are customer focused, and a good communicator, then this is the industry for you.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I like that my job is so varied and that I’m able to fulfil our customers’ requests; no matter how big or small the project or pre-planned maintenance contract is.
My aim is to always have great communication with our clients and to be as helpful as possible.
What attracted you to being a Maintenance Manager and how has your job changed since you started?
I have always been interested in design and build from my time at university, as I completed a degree in Interior Design and my dad is in the building trade.
I have worked in the Maintenance department for five years now. This was where I started off as a temporary administrator and, throughout the years, I have worked my way up through the department with various job roles.
My job has definitely changed during my time at COEL (and previously CPMS), but it was always a goal of mine to work for a company that I could grow with. There has been quite a lot of change within the company in the last five years, with the team growing substantially, CPMS becoming part of COEL and process improvements – all of which have enhanced our offer.
Did you always want to work in Property Management?
To be honest, no – I had no idea what I wanted to do. When I left university, I just wanted to get out into the world and work.
I guess I kind of fell into this role after coming back from my travels. At that time, I felt ready to concentrate on my career and now looking back, I’m really pleased I made that decision.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
On a weekend, you’ll find me on a hockey pitch playing competitively for a club in Cambridge. I love being part of a team and knowing what I’m doing every Saturday.
I also love being active, whether it’s going on walks with my dog, Archie, or trying out a new fitness class.
Do you have a personal ambition to still fulfil?
I’d like to travel more in the future; either Canada or Europe, maybe in a Campervan. I know they are vastly different – I just love exploring new places! Winning the lottery; does that count as an ambition?
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