Q&A: Talking with Jacobs’ Commercial Manager Michaela Andreou
Jacobs’ Commercial Manager at RAF Lakenheath, Michaela Andreou talks about her pride in her work, mental health and wellbeing, and the importance of learning and growing in life to #ShapeTheWorld.
We’re connecting virtually with our team of thinkers, dreamers and doers around the world to showcase the work we do every day to #ShapeTheWorld – and here we talked with Jacobs’ commercial manager Michaela Andreou who supports our Delivery Partner team at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, U.K.
After completing a Bachelor Degree in Business Management, Michaela began her career in Quality Management and continual improvement process streamlining, before moving into commercial and quantity surveying. With seven years’ experience in the construction industry, Michaela joined Jacobs’ Delivery Partner team in April 2019, supporting the Defence Infrastructure Organization (DIO)in preparing for two United States Air Force F35 squadrons due to arrive at RAF Lakenheath in late 2021. Now as a commercial manager, Michaela is supporting several contracts across the program, whilst currently completing a Masters in Quantity Surveying.
What’s your favorite part of your role?
The people and how this is a major program with multiple smaller projects. There is so much going on and so much that needs to be thought about concurrently. The role is both stimulating and exhilarating, each day is a new experience, a new learning day and it’s great working with and meeting all the different people and organizations! It’s an honor to be part of this development for the United States Air Force and remembering how important this program is to all of us in the U.K.
If you aren’t in the workplace, what would we be most likely to find you doing?
Salsa dancing! The most perfect way to cleanse your mind, body and soul and make new friends! Not to mention the all-round fitness element. I also love food so cooking, baking and consuming is a very likely act you would find me doing. Oh, and watching foreign films with English subtitles as I love culture and language!
This year’s #INWED theme is #ShapeTheWorld – what does this mean to you?
Great news, we must keep moving and growing in life. Never stand still. Shaping the world for me means continuing to smash the stereotypes and continue to learn, develop and strive for excellence, proving a woman’s ability and worth. Women being encouraged into engineering careers are essential for making the industry entirely inclusive – something which is incredibly important for modern-day businesses – and to be sure that engineering jobs of the future are filled by today’s best and brightest. Shaping the world is shaping society and thus shaping our company.
What’s something you learned in the last week?
Not a new learning, but definitely a good reminder, which we tend to forget or not pay importance to, is about mental health and wellbeing for us personally but also our friends and loved ones. Never underestimate the power of feelings and emotions. Negative emotion ruins you and others around you. Remember, participate and encourage the 5 ways to wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give and Take Notice. I have my own 6th element to wellbeing – Love – always love never hate!
Most interesting career moment?
Being employed on a military program is fantastic! Uniformed personnel working alongside you is a constant reminder of the importance of what we are doing and I really enjoy liaising with all the relevant parties including the subcontractors, the contractor, the DIO and ultimately the end user, which is the U.S. Air Force!
I’m responsible for the commercial elements of five out of the 13 projects in the program. I find it genuinely stimulating as each project has a different purpose and involves different people. There are many relationships to build and retain, and I absolutely love it!
What’s a story that your family always tells about you?
As a child, I was a chatterbox, constantly talking to anyone about anything, whether it was in the park, the train or just passers-by when out for a walk. My parents thought I would be a TV presenter at the rate I was going, but I have mellowed a lot over the years, as the saying goes ‘less is more’ – this really is true for many things too!
Most proud career moment?
I was asked to become a presenter running workshops to do with promoting an ‘Injury Free Environment’. This involved a 4-hour workshop tapping into people’s emotions and discussing and sharing real life tragic experiences which is hard to do in a male-dominated industry. It was a proud feeling when people thanked you for helping change a mindset or looking at things in a different perspective. We often operate daily as robots and forget the little things in life which end up being the most important that sometimes we take for granted.
People would be surprised to know that I….
Am bilingual, fluent in Greek (mother’s tongue) and intermediate in French and Spanish – yes, I love languages – I started Arabic recently too! Languages open the doors, plus they’re an added benefit when people think you can’t understand!
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?
Being part of Jacobs feels like being part of a major international family, we are all connected and willing to share knowledge or advice and you just need to reach out if you need something. I enjoy being around talented individuals who too are all committed and passionate, you really can rely on people from Jacobs to help and guide you in anything you need. It’s so welcoming, encouraging and a great feeling of nurturing.
What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable. We’re powered by more than 55,000 people across the globe who deliver innovative scientific, technical, professional and program-management solutions for public and private clients around the world.
At Jacobs, we’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.