Sarah Bastajian

Director, New Business

My career

When did you join Willmott Dixon?

August 2005

What attracted you to us?

Family business that was serious about sustainability

First position

Environmental Manager

Tell us more about your career with us?

I joined as an Environmental Manager, initially focusing on developing the Environmental Management System and implementing it on site. While establishing the procedures with the site team I quickly understood that the critical time to shape a project regarding minimising environmental impacts and maximising sustainability was during pre-construction.

Making this case, we employed a second environmental manager to continue working and supporting the operational teams enabling me to then work with pre-construction. At this stage I was promoted to Senior Environmental Manager.

I then requested the opportunity to work on a project to understand better the barriers that were preventing teams from engaging with environmental issues. My suggestion was taken positively, and led to the business suggesting that I would actually be well suited to the role of Pre-construction Project Manager. This presented the opportunity to work on Wandsworth BSF as an Assistant Preconstruction Project Manager (now known as an Assistant Bid Manager).

Working on Wandsworth BSF was a baptism of fire, as it was technically complex and relatively new to our office. However, I loved the challenge and really enjoyed the role. I have then progressed to Bid Manager and Senior Bid Manager running projects and programmes of work in preconstruction.

I then progressed to Senior Bid Manager leading the Bid Submissions Team who are responsible for delivering PQQ’s and supporting tenders in the business.

Last year I was promoted to Director, New Business at our new Farnborough office which covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

What do you like about our culture?

The family feel to the business, being known as an individual, feeling valued in each of my roles and the feeling of community in the office.

Tips for success

Always look for the positives and rise to the challenges that face you!