Giles Ingham, Chartered and Registered Building Surveyor, Licensed Asbestos Assessor and Senior Associate in our Building Surveying team, is our second member of staff to celebrate ten years with Maynard Marks. He joined us in October 2009, fresh from the UK.
Giles spent the first five years based in Auckland before moving to our Wellington office in 2014. He shares his memories of, and opinions on, working at Maynard Marks and provides some sage advice for both prospective staff members and clients.
Tell me, why you decided to join Maynard Marks all those years ago
“I knew Richard Angell (a colleague who also celebrated his 10 year anniversary with Maynard Marks in 2018) from University. He came back to the UK for a visit and told me he was working for an innovative company that was doing some interesting building surveying work that mainly involved forensic investigations of buildings. It sounded really interesting and totally different to building surveying work in the UK. I was planning to travel to New Zealand and so Richard put me in touch with Directors, Stuart and Simon. We met up and they offered me a job. Three months later I relocated to New Zealand.”
What was Maynard Marks like back then?
“It was a fledgling company. We sub-let space from an accounting company and there was no marketing budget. We were only as good as our last job so it did feel quite hand to mouth.”
How’s it changed?
“Dramatically, at least from a physical perspective. Maynard Marks is now a medium to large size national company that works in multiple sectors, whereas 10 years ago we had a small office and a narrow focus. However, from an ideological perspective it hasn’t changed. The values remain the same and we continue to focus on providing a robust level of advice to clients and ensure they understand the implications of our advice.”
How has your career developed over the past decade?
“When I moved to New Zealand my experience was UK and Europe-based. Joining Maynard Marks helped to bolster my knowledge and expertise. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with multiple aspects of the New Zealand construction industry from both a building surveying and project management perspective. This, along with our client base and worktypes have given me the chance to expand my knowledge into areas I wouldn’t have previously considered – for example, I’m a Licensed Asbestos Assessor, and I’ve been on numerous training courses. Maynard Marks’ continued focus on market expansion has helped develop my career.”
What do you enjoy about working at Maynard Marks?
“There’s a good level of freedom. You get to decide how you want to be involved and there’s a commitment from the top to get people working on things they want to work on, while still providing strong support. In terms of your own development, the world’s your oyster. The opportunities are there for the taking. If you show an aptitude in a certain area, you’ll be given leeway and support to develop related work.
What work related achievement are you most proud of and why?
“When I was based in Auckland, we were doing a fair amount of work in Wellington. The directors had talked about opening a Wellington office and I mentioned to one of them that I quite liked Wellington and could see myself living there. Shortly afterwards, Stuart asked me if I’d like to start a Wellington office. It was an easy yes. I will never forget the first day. Most of the fitout work wasn’t complete. Stuart and I managed to get things set up and the next day I was in the office on my own, with support from Auckland. I remember thinking “you have to make it work”. I was apprehensive but this was a challenge I had set myself and I’m proud that I rose to it.”
How would you describe the working environment at Maynard Marks?
“It’s open and collaborative. While colleagues have defined roles, people are genuinely open, approachable and happy to offer advice. The culture is that of a company with a flat structure. The directors have an open door policy and it’s really encouraging to see the attitude the company has taken towards health & safety and striving to become a market leader amongst consultancies in this area. We have our own health & safety brand and a strong focus on wellness and wellbeing. The directors could have easily resisted and sought to do the minimum but they didn’t. We are very lucky in that regard.”
In your opinion, what traits would someone need to be successful working here?
“They’d need to be adaptable, open-minded and prepared to take on new challenges. They should also want to develop professional skills in other areas they may not have previously considered. One of the most important things is they have a desire to communicate with clients, and directly develop relationships with them.”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering working here, what would it be?
“You will be given opportunities at Maynard Marks – embrace them. You’ll have the support you need to pursue them. After that, it’s up to you. Be prepared to challenge yourself and develop and never be afraid to be objective and to ask questions – it’s expected.”
How can clients get the best from the Maynard Marks team?
“Be very clear about what it is you want and the direction you want to go in. Don’t be afraid to challenge us and to ask questions. We expect to give our clients the best advice possible but this can only occur if you provide us as much information as possible regarding your objectives and intentions.”
Any final words?
“Maynard Marks has come a long way in 10 years. There is still a wealth of opportunity out there for the business, the company is here for the long-haul and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
If you’re interested in working here, please check out our current job vacancies.