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Mark Ingram

Age: 28, Southern area contracts manager for CFA piling, Stent Foundations

Route to the Job
In 1990 I went to a CITB careers in construction event held at my school. I was young and impressionable and tempted by the "glamour" of construction. I secured a sponsor, Stent Foundations, and packed my bags for a residential course at the CITB College in Bircham Newton. For the next four years I studied for an HNC in civil engineering, receiving theoretical and practical on and off the job training? and pay. On graduating I became a contracts engineer with Stent, responsible for the day to day running of small piling projects and was part of the team involved in the larger projects such as the Heathrow Express Cofferdam. In 1998 I was highly commended in Construction News' Site Engineer of the Year Awards. In 2000 I progressed to senior contracts engineer and last Christmas was made southern area contracts manager with particular responsibility for the CFA piling department.

Typical Day
There's no such thing as a typical day. One day I will be in the office, crunching numbers as I report on and forecast the department's performance, clear tenders and negotiate new work. The next I will be out on site trouble shooting those inevitable technical and production issues with the site team, whilst pro-actively monitoring safety and contributing to the continual improvement of the business. The nature of the piling industry dictates that you need to be flexible to react to clients needs at short notice.

Highs and Lows
Highs include meeting new clients and the continual change of work locations due to the high turnover of short duration projects. Lows are witnessing the projects on which money is wasted through the lack of value engineering and not involving specialist contractors in the early stages of project conception.

Ambitions
To be recognised as a specialist manager within the piling and ground engineering industry.

Advice
Get up early in the morning so you can plan and prepare for the day ahead. Stay calm and keep a clear head while those around you loose theirs? Oh, and don't get too many ideas about the glamorous lifestyle.