“It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your accent is! My starting point is exactly where you are today and if my hard work and dedication has got me where I am, then you can make it too.”
Paige is an SCCB success story with top tips from her career journey that you must not miss! From a BTEC at our college, to an Associate Director in New York leading quantity surveyors across America – Paige’s 13-year journey is inspiring and relatable to all our students. Thank you Paige!
Hello, my name is Paige Mirley and I’m an Associate Director at Mace North America based in New York City! I’m an alumni of South & City College Birmingham.
I’m going to tell you my story – how I began my journey at SCCB, where I went after, and how I arrived at where I am today.
I started A-Levels after school because that was the route my school promoted. Unfortunately that route was academic-centric with subjects that had no relevance to construction.
After a year, I switched to a BTEC extended diploma in Construction at South & City College Birmingham. The 2 year diploma covered a broad range of subjects in the construction field which meant that I could get a feel for many different industry roles.
I completed my diploma and achieved the highest grade, triple distinction stars!
I then went to Birmingham City University and completed a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying, achieving a first class with honours degree.
The university agreed that, although I’d commenced my full-time degree, they would allow me to do day release. I commuted 4 days a week and would come back for university, all in the name of getting experience. It fast-tracked me with achieving my qualifications.
Work experience was always invaluable to my journey. After I graduated university, I was interviewed and gained a graduate position at BAM Construction in the Midlands – I had completed summer work experience with them during my studies.
I worked at BAM for almost 7 years, from graduate to Project Quantity Surveyor.
2 years after completing my degree, I became the youngest person in my company to complete my RICS accreditation and become a chartered quantity surveyor.
I wanted to achieve it for two reasons: because it is a standard of quality in the construction industry, and because it allows you to work internationally!
I joined Mace North America in their consultancy business as a Senior Costs Manager, where I’ve been for three years. I was promoted to Associate Director, leading projects and teams across the Americas and passing on my knowledge and experience to quantity surveyors coming through the ranks.
You don’t have to be the cleverest person but you do have to be determined and ambitious. If you are willing to put the hard work in, you will reap the rewards!
Work experience is invaluable. I gained a lot of unpaid work experience during my studies with companies like BAM who would go on to be my future employers.
Be open to learn! Never think you are above learning or you’ve learnt all you need to know. The best people I’ve worked with do not pretend to know everything, but they know when to ask questions to better themselves.
Inspired to start a Construction course at South & City College Birmingham? Head to our course page.