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Insights Andrew's career: from quantity surveyor to project manager

Andrew Liong is a Project Manager based in Singapore. He joined AtkinsRéalis ’s Engineering, Design & Project Management (EDPM) business to progress in a role and learn new skills through hands-on involvement. During his four-year tenure, Andrew made a career change from quantity surveying to project management, where he continues to upskill to stay sharp. Read on to hear from Andrew why development is so important and his stand-out moments during his career with us.

image of Andrew smiling

How did you get into project management?

I started my career as a Quantity Surveyor after graduating from university, briefly working with another company before joining AtkinsRéalis . I was keen on taking on a more active role at work, one that was more challenging and engaging. AtkinsRéalis provides a platform for us to explore opportunities, change career paths and develop capabilities according to our interests. When the opportunity came up, I requested an internal transfer to the Project Management team. It’s like the saying goes, "If you don't' ask, you won't get!"

What are your main responsibilities as a project manager?

My main responsibility is to manage the construction of projects to ensure they are completed on time, on budget and of the highest quality. Having a clear understanding of the objective, scope, project details, and the application of well-designed governance structure and processes are crucial to achieving success and delivering value as a project manager. Communication is also an essential skill for Project Managers. Depending on the project scope, I will typically lead a team of consultants and contractors. This requires the ability to communicate with multiple parties clearly and effectively, particularly when we are racing against time.

Have there been any stand-out moments in your career?

The first-ever project I worked on as a Project Manager is my most memorable. It was a 120,000sqft office fit-out! At the time, I felt like I was biting off more than I could chew because of the sheer scale and intensity of the project. Looking back, it was the best experience I had throughout my relatively short and ongoing career. People learn the most after making mistakes, and I can attest to that. Since then, I have worked on several new projects, from data centres to new ramp-up warehouses; each has been an opportunity for me to further hone my skills.

Why is development so important at AtkinsRéalis ?

Clients trust Project Managers and Consultants to deliver leading capabilities and value-add. To be able to constantly deliver the best results for our clients' projects, it’s important we keep learning and equipping ourselves with the latest tools and approaches. For many, the widespread lockdowns have been an opportunity to invest in self-development and learn new skills. I recently acquired a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, something I have always wanted to obtain, but never had the time to do.

What is the best part about working at AtkinsRéalis ?

I love working here because AtkinsRéalis supports the development of its employees. The Company’s strong track record positions us well to be involved in some of the most exciting and challenging projects, which provides great opportunities to learn on the job. Surrounding myself with brilliant people that are recognized experts drives me forward and inspires me to never stop learning.

Find your next project management job with AtkinsRéalis

If you're inspired by Andrew's career and want to find out where a job with us could lead you, why not browse our latest project management jobs? We have opportunities across a range of markets, including cities and development, clean power and transportation. As a leading project management consultancy firm, we have offices in over 50 countries, so no matter what stage you're at in your career, or what direction you want to take it in, we'll help you get there.

If you're looking for more stories like Andrew's or want to read content about strategic project management, why you should bring your project management career to an engineering firm and more, then browse our project management blogs.