Caroline Haseke is a Manager within the Win Work Team & Business Strategy at Atkins in Hong Kong. In this interview, she tells us how Hong Kong's natural side helps her switch off after a day at work, and why she hopes the construction industry can make use of new digital tools to work more effectively in the future.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I started my career journey as a graduate trainee in the transportation industry in Europe. I continued with an exciting opportunity in the company's subsidiary in Hyderabad, India, where I helped prepare the metro rail launch as Head of Marketing & Sales within the O&M company. From there, I moved to Business Development, Business Strategy and Proposal Management and moved to Hong Kong. I now work in a regional role with an Engineering Design Consultancy and lead the Proposal Management team.
What gets you excited about your industry?
In my role as Proposal Team Manager, I spend a lot of time with the team on identifying the right win strategy to best cater for the clients' needs. It is important to understand the strategic aspects of bid management but also to be able to translate that strategy into a graphic representation to underpin our approach.
This mix of analysis, strategy and creativity is what excites me most in my role.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I think the best advice someone gave me was to focus on the people and their objectives, interests, and motivators. Only by understanding what gets people moving and by enabling the individual team members to achieve their goals, are we able to lead the team successfully and achieve team goals.
What, or who inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration and calmness through regular Yoga practice. Yoga teaches you how to breathe, be patient and calm - things that are important at work and in life in general.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
I attend many networking events and try to talk to as many people as possible within the industry. I also speak with my colleagues and ask them to explain an ongoing project to me, which is very helpful.
At the moment, due to Covid, networking is a bit difficult, but I try to attend conferences, industry speeches and digital networking seminars instead.
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
The most challenging but also the most interesting project I have worked on was the launch of the Hyderabad metro rail system in India. It was a 72km Greenfield project, and I prepared the launch of the train services in a culture that I wasn't familiar with and an industry that was quite new to me.
I think I have never learned so much in such a short period of time about the technical aspects of my job, but also about people, culture and life.
If you could start your life again, what would you do differently?
I think I wouldn't do anything differently. I was lucky enough to have seen many different industries, job types, cultures and regions in my career so far and each one of these experiences contributed in their own way to my learning and life experience. In the end, these experiences brought me to where I am today.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Haha! I would take a plane and travel to a nice island to relax on a beach in the sun. After that, I would come back and invest the money in an entrepreneurial project.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
At the moment I live in Hong Kong, and I really like the nature that surrounds the city. I enjoy going on hikes after work or on the weekends and experiencing life near the sea.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?The industry is currently undergoing a technological, digital disruption.
With more and more clients asking to deliver our projects in the BIM environment as well as due to the increase in working from home requirements, I see a market need for innovative digital tools. These would allow us to work more effectively and collaboratively across different regions, timezones and job types.
I wish that engineers, architects and support services worked more closely together in the digital world by making use of digital tools.
How should people connect with you?
You can connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-haseke/.
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