Samuel Giffen is a Project Manager with Keltbray’s Remediation Services, he has been with the business for 3 years. With a background in Law and Geology, Sam came to Keltbray because of his interest in environmental sciences.
Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Sam and ask him about how he got into the industry and what he enjoys about his role.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into construction
I’m originally from Margate in Kent. My career journey started when I embarked on a Law degree at University as I wanted to be a Barrister, however, after a year I decided to switch my degree for Geology, which I did for three years.
After university, I worked at the beach as a life guard for quite a while as I found it hard to find a job in my area of expertise due to lack of work experience. I thought I wanted to get into oil and gas, as my dad worked for BP so I always pictured myself up on an oil rig! I eventually found a job based in Kent through a friend of mine, working for a company called Edge Enviro Services, specialising in everything to do with environmental sciences. I then went on to work for RAW Group in Sandhurst, who specialised in inland oil spill response and remediation.
Tell us about your role with Keltbray
I ended up at Keltbray through an agency and I’ve now been in my role for three years. I originally started off as a Site Agent then got promoted to the Assistant Project Manager role, before being promoted to Project Manager earlier this year.
Congratulations! What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role with the business is really varied as it’s not just remediation, I get involved with different civils elements, and the environmental side of things which I really enjoy.
The built environment is definitely an area that I’m happy working in as there’s variety in my work and no day is the same.
In my role a “typical” work day involves managing our live projects, which covers the financial, technical and operational aspects to the job.
What I love about my role is that it’s challenging and it keeps me busy. The job is fast paced and always changing so it keeps your mind working. I also like to get out and about and it’s a good mix of site and office work – my background is working on site so it suits me.
What advice would you give someone starting out in construction?
Get involved in everything. Don’t get too specialist straight away, when you first start out you don’t know what you’ll end up doing, so do everything and find out what you’re interested in. Getting the background knowledge first gives you the scope to then branch out into the area you want to focus on. Essentially, I would advise everyone to get involved, get stuck in and don’t stand back as that won’t get you anywhere!
What would you be doing if you weren’t in construction?
That’s a tricky question! I always thought I’d be on an oil rig to be honest with you. It all depends on the lucky break you get and what opportunities come your way. I’m happy I’ve ended up in construction.
Do you have any long-term goals?
The next step for me with Keltbray is to become a Senior Project Manager, and from there hopefully Project Director. Who knows what the future holds!