My Stantec Story: Building a career in project management with Melin Karabulutoglu
April 05, 2023
April 05, 2023
Melin, a graduate project manager, shares how communicating and collaborating with different teams is shaping her career
In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.
I started working at Stantec in September 2022 after completing my master’s degree in sustainability and management at the University of Bath. I am now working as a graduate project manager where I’m part of a big team of experienced project managers who ensure projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to quality standards—while also building and improving working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
The main factors that initially drew me to a career here were the company values. From the moment I walked into my interview until now, I’m surrounded by colleagues who have been supporting me in every way possible. There is a lot of room to learn about many different disciplines due to the diversity of the work and projects Stantec engages with. Another motivation to join the Company was their initiatives and dedication to building a better future for communities and the environment. It is encouraging to see several initiatives and organisational changes that emphasize the importance of sustainable practices across a range of domains.
Being a project manager allows me to engage with a variety of people daily, which is one of my favourite aspects of the job. Additionally, working in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines and making sure the work runs as smoothly as possible is very satisfying. My position constantly encourages me to maintain discipline and challenges me to be competent in handling a variety of tasks and individuals at the same time. I have gained a huge amount of confidence in the way I communicate with project team members and clients which further encourages me to take on more and bigger responsibilities.
After receiving my bachelor of arts in fashion design, I worked in the fashion industry and my interest in sustainability grew significantly. As a result, I decided to specialise in the subject and work in the field for a few years. Changing industries has not been easy, and I had no idea what to expect when I walked into Stantec, but thanks to everyone around me, my transition to this sector has been smooth and easily adaptable. I can see clearly now that working for a company that is committed to doing the right thing for communities and the environment was the right decision for me. I am so lucky to have wonderful colleagues who have been supporting and encouraging me since the beginning of my Stantec journey. I can ask plenty of questions and learn from many individuals around me ready to assist whenever I need.
I have worked on several projects that have stimulated my curiosity in a variety of disciplines. I had no trouble expressing my interests to various colleagues, who assisted me in discovering numerous other opportunities for career advancement within the organisation. The chances for growth and exploration available to graduates are quite motivating and helpful, both for those who are unclear of their career goals as well as those who just wish to explore different fields. I think this is one of the huge advantages of being part of Stantec.
The chances for growth and exploration available to graduates are quite motivating and helpful.
The one project that has made me excited is a brand-new one we just started working on for one of our Water clients. We have been working on this for a while aiming to get the proposal to a level where all client requirements will be met at high standards within the right timelines. It’s been a challenging start as the scope kept getting bigger than expected. Yet, because of this, the engagement of many different disciplines in this project such as ecology, archaeology, and heritage, etc., became essential, and I was able to learn even more.
Throughout the course of this project, I was entrusted with numerous tasks where I could demonstrate what I had learned and understand how various disciplines interacted to make such large-scale projects successful. Projects always present problems, but when you're this invested in your job and encounter exciting projects like this one, you work even harder to ensure everything goes according to plan and get the most out of the project for your own growth.
As my enthusiasm for environmental and sustainability-related work expands, I'd really like to investigate my options to get more involved. I've already begun a discussion on this within my team and the wider team, and everyone has been very supportive. Especially coming from a different career background, I really want to challenge myself to learn a bit more about environmental disciplines and hopefully be able to develop a deeper understanding of them all to benefit my future projects.
Outside of work, I frequently spend my time salsa dancing and climbing. I enjoy taking part in both activities since they are quite energising. In Bristol, there is a lovely community I have met through these activities, which provides a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
It's a great place to launch your career in whatever field or position you want to pursue—the Stantec culture is designed to encourage and foster an atmosphere where you are taken care of.
At Stantec, we put people first, and for Melin, that means support from her colleagues as she explores and shapes her developing role within the organisation. If you want to start your career at Stantec, visit Graduates & Apprentices to find out more.