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Graduate Stories

Sophie (Zhe) De Montalembert
Project Manager

I joined Stace in the summer of 2015, having achieved a Masters in Construction Management at the Northwest University near Washington. I wanted to put my education into action and found a way to do just that with Stace. I’m currently working on three projects and studying for my APC and membership of RICS.

Two of the projects are residential developments within the new Wembley estates. Both comprise over 360 units. The third is a single, high-end house in Notting Hill Gate, where I’m working as a Monitoring Surveyor – about as different from the Wembley projects as you can get.

The management at Stace has given me a tremendous amount of individual responsibility, from processing requests from contractors and interacting directly with the clients, to keeping an eye on budgets and attending meetings. This means I’m on site at Wembley three days a week.

My work is both interesting and challenging. I like the interaction with clients and the variety of work involved, especially the Notting Hill Gate project. Acting as the Monitoring Surveyor, I’m getting to grips with the full scope of project management.

Interaction within the Stace team is about as good as it gets, which makes it a great place to work.

If there is one thing I have learnt about project management, it’s the value of balance. Being able to take the initiative is vital, but so is being a part of the team. I need to report back to my seniors and the clients, as well as assisting senior staff in the whole management process.

Since I have been with Stace, I have a better understanding of the technical side of the work and of the design of buildings. You soon learn the importance of an attention to detail and maintaining the most professional of relationships.

My goal is to be a fully individual Project Manager, working on my own projects. That could be in any sector; although I’ve been happy working in residential. To succeed here, you simply need to try everything that’s made available to you and be open minded to all the opportunities that come your way.

Interaction within the Stace team is about as good as it gets, which makes it a great place to work. You feel a part of things and that drives you on. The social side here is also excellent. We’ve just had a great summer event, and there have been workshops out of town, as well as lots of informal, social drinks and meetings.


Matthew McEwen
Senior Building Surveyor
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