It isn't just the great clients and projects that a career in surveying can offer you which attracts professionals to the industry, sometimes it's the great people you meet. This was certainly the case for Brian Shuptrine AssocRICS, who originally joined Turner & Townsend because of their company culture but went on to work for them across multiple contracts and roles spanning the entirety of Asia Pacific.
I always wanted to work in the construction industry as a child. At school, I was most interested in architecture, but I pursued construction management at university after I learned more about the surveying profession from a colleague.
Not long after graduating, I started to hear more about a company called Turner & Townsend, who had acquired Rawlinsons, an Australian quantity surveying firm, in 2005. Soon after, I began to learn more about the company's global business, approach, clients and projects. These were all attractive, however, it was the people I met and the company culture that really made me want to join. I wasn't even looking for a new job, but I was certain that Turner & Townsend was the company to grow and develop my career with.
I joined Turner & Townsend in 2006 as a senior project manager based in Sydney. I learned a lot during my early years, however, the real breakthrough moment came when I relocated to Japan and was promoted to Associate Director in November 2008.
I was asked to lead the global project management office (PMO) for Turner & Townsend's contract with Nissan Motors. We were tasked with Nissan's retail expansion and re-branding programme, which exposed me to the unique challenges of working across different cultures and developing markets.
After the contract had come to an end in 2011, I relocated to Singapore to become the director of the project management team. The strategic location of Singapore gave me further exposure to global and regional clients, so much so that I was promoted to office director in February 2014. In this role, I oversaw both the project management and cost management areas of the business; I gained a real appreciation for cost-management capability and the benefits it can provide clients.
I was promoted to my current position —Managing Director of Southeast Asia — in May 2019. I lead the Turner & Townsend businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
It's hard to describe a "typical" day due to the diverse nature of our business, clients and projects; however, most days will be a combination of client and internal meetings. We discuss a whole range of topics, from new business opportunities, service excellence and assurance to team engagement and financial performance.
Me and my team focus on client engagement: listening to what they really need and finding a solution for them that exceeds their expectations. Through this, we develop long-term trusted relationships and, when challenges present themselves, I pride myself on personally getting involved to quickly find the right solution.