I joined HSBC in 2007 as a Vice-President in Operations, which was quite a change from my previous job in marketing. Three years later I moved to Corporate Real Estate. Since then I have successfully delivered three capital projects, providing brand new working facilities for 12,000 employees in Guangzhou and Nanhai in China and Manila in the Philippines.
My job is to organise the construction of buildings, or the fit-out of empty spaces, and ensure they meet HSBC’s workplace standards. To achieve this I work with internal support teams, external consultants, contractors and vendors, both in China and in Hong Kong, India, the UK and South-East Asia. I feel immensely proud to bring such great facilities to our staff and make their working lives better.
Delivering a project involves all kinds of activities, from tendering, design and implementation to monitoring progress and the post-project review. Each step requires constant communication, negotiation and planning. You have to be able to understand English and manage the expectations of different stakeholders. My days are full of surprises: hundreds of unexpected problems occur before a project is successfully completed. We sit down, discuss them, explore different options and decide on the most suitable way forward.
Working on projects has strengthened my resilience, while interacting with senior managers has helped me to develop my leadership skills. I have also had the opportunity to take part in a range of training programmes and be both a mentee and a mentor. HSBC believes in people’s talent – and that has allowed me to transfer between different roles and remain motivated.