Student Success: Star student to managing the construction of a multimillion-pound building in Salford

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

A Salford alumna who graduated less than 10 years ago is 6 months away from achieving a milestone moment in her career that has seen her manage the construction of a new £65 million building in the heart of the University of Salford’s main campus.

Charlotte France, who studied Building Surveying started her career at Faithful + Gould, a project and programme and management consultancy, and was placed on a secondment opportunity back at the University where she studied. The secondment at the University of Salford was extended with the Estates team recognising Charlotte’s outstanding work by offering her a permanent role. 

Having attended an industry-focused University, Charlotte has attributed her success to the practical and hands-on experience she gained whilst studying. She said: “It was invaluable being taught by lecturers who have decades of experience working in the industry. As part of our studies, we worked on live industry briefs, this giving me a taste of what working in the sector would be like and prepared me for my placement. 

“The University has great links with industry, and I managed to secure a placement at Transport for Greater Manchester which helped me decide on the career path I wanted to take and gave me that edge when I was looking for my first graduate job.”

Charlotte is now working as the project manager for the new School of Science, Engineering and Environment building (SEE) at the University of Salford and has successfully navigated around the challenges posed by the pandemic - delivering a new building that is not only on-budget but has a completion date that is on schedule. Reflecting on her current role, she said: “I have been working on the project for 5 years and it has been amazing and very satisfying to see the construction come to life from inception to completion and occupation.

“The pandemic did delay the project by 3 months, and I have been presented with many challenges along the way. It has been an amazing experience and what an opportunity to be involved in one of the University’s biggest construction projects for more than a decade.”

In addition, Charlotte has also been recognised for her achievements at the University as part of its International Women's Day celebrations where she was awarded an Above and Beyond Accolade.

When asked what advice she has for students, in particular women, who want to embark on a career in construction she added: “Really engage with and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Say ‘yes’ to new opportunities, even if they lay outside your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the only way to infill them is to ask questions, no matter how small or silly you may feel, I can guarantee someone is thinking the same thing.

“I have loved being part of the University in my professional life and being involved in delivering lectures hoping that I inspire the next generation of building surveyors.”

Read more: Study Built Environment at Salford

Charlotte France visits the new SEE building

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