Tell me about the team culture at Ignite.
We’re quite a tight team. In a massive office, it’s easy to get lost, but when you’re broken down into these smaller sector teams you have a sense of belonging and being part of a family. That’s the essence of this company – you’re part of a team that nurtures and supports each other.
What have been some of your highlights over the last year?
Getting the Amenity Building at Gulf Rise over the line was a highlight. We documented that in a short time because the design kept changing at a late point in the project. It’s a fun building that has a bit of everything – it’s got a pool, gym, café, bar, activities room – it has quite a broad range of architecture in one space, which is quite exciting.
Another highlight has been the connections we’ve created as a team. Whenever there’s a massive deadline, everyone pitches in and helps each other out. I think when you’re working together to get a project over the line – that’s when you bond as team.
And what have been some of the challenges?
I found the cultural difference quite confronting when I came back from Australia. It also took me some time to settle in and get my head around the culture of the firm, as well as the intricacies of being a member of the leadership team. And, while navigating my way through that, trying to grow as an architect and as a leader.
What are you looking forward to achieving here in the next year?
I’m looking forward to seeing some of the buildings at Gulf Rise be completed – they should be done by April next year. I’m also excited to see our team members continue to flourish, like the ones trying to get registered. It’s always a good feeling when you can get excited for other people’s accomplishments.
For my own professional growth, I might look into becoming a NZRAB interviewer. I’ve been doing it in-house for our mock interviews and have found it really engaging –you have to assess if someone knows what they’re talking about or not in a short period of time. You have to ask the right questions and really listen to what the responses are. I’ve also just been promoted to Associate Director, and I’m excited to be part of women in leadership in the industry.
Any advice for new starters?
When you first start, it can be hard to understand the firm and know how to maximise your potential there, but don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – be open and honest with your managers.