I was determined to find a position during my Co-op search to anywhere I thought was interesting.
When I saw PCL had an opening, I applied, even though I didn’t know anything about construction.
I’ve heard of PCL before and have seen their logo while driving around; that was my extent of construction knowledge. I couldn’t visualize myself in construction, especially in marketing construction. With no experience in construction marketing, I was still intrigued and applied.
Coming into an office as my first full-time job was already scary enough but coming into an industry that I knew nothing about was worse.
I may not have become a sudden expert in the field, but through perseverance, patience and asking lots of questions, I have started to learn and develop knowledge of how the industry works.
Working in the construction industry is more exciting than you think. It can be like a contest when bidding for projects or applying for awards.
Marketing in a construction company isn’t just about social media but also about winning work through proposals. During the proposal process, the marketing team oversees the strategy, planning and execution with written information required in a request for proposals or qualifications. The extra attention to strategy, key messaging, theming, and an easy-to-read proposal ensures that PCL puts its best foot forward to stand out from the competition. I came in at the right time and assisted with one of the must-win requests for qualifications! I was able to dive right in, aiding with reading the content and editing for consistency and grammar, helping with the creative theming, laying out the edited content into InDesign, taking part in the red and gold team review meetings and taking on the final edits before we submitted.
I took on a challenge and realized that learning a new industry isn’t so hard or scary. Being a sponge and learning new sectors is a great asset to expanding your knowledge and learning on a steep learning curve. I find this especially important in marketing and communications because we must understand the business to market it.
This position taught me other marketing strategies besides just social media and advertising. This position was unique because I not only worked on a framework for a marketing plan for the BC Region and marketing tasks for the new St. Paul’s Hospital, but I got exposure to other aspects of marketing that I didn’t know existed. Learning about proposals opened my eyes to how construction companies win work. I also learned that I could apply my skillsets to different opportunities I didn’t know were out there.
I’ve learned from this experience that I should have an open mind and say yes to different opportunities. I shouldn’t limit myself to specific industries because I may know more about them or know I will be comfortable. Without this position, I would have missed out on learning many new things about the industry and my career.