Mace People: Sarah Hughes - Mace Group
Mace People

Sarah Hughes

Associate Director - Develop

Development, UK

Sarah’s role involves the management of Mace’s own development portfolio and those held by some key clients. Working in the fastest growing part of our business demands a huge amount of energy, which is perfect for Sarah, given her love of extreme sports.

How did you get into what you do?

I did a degree in architecture because I always had an interest in the built environment and I happened to be good at art.

After graduating, I did my Part 1 in architecture and then spent a year on the slopes in France! I joined Mace in 2004 as a project manager in the public sector division and after a few years I moved into the commercial sector.

I then left Mace for a few years to join a private equity company doing property development in southern and eastern Europe. It gave me great exposure to development and investment and when I rejoined Mace I was seconded almost straight away into one of our client's organisations in a development role. A couple of years later I joined Mace's development team and haven't looked back.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
I would say it's very advantageous to have a degree and you need to have some experience in the industry - ideally in development and investment. Within our team, we've got degrees in architecture, cost consultancy, construction management and project management. We all have delivery experience as well and understand how to deliver. I think it's invaluable and it provides us with an added dimension compared with some other developers.
What skills do you need to be good at your job?

You need financial acumen, experience and knowledge, but above all else - confidence.

A strong personality is a must as you have to have courage in your convictions. When I'm working with people who are rightly cautious about their investment I need to be able to demonstrate my knowledge in a confident and professional manner.

Mace People: Sarah Hughes - Mace Group

“When I’m working with people who are rightly cautious about their investment, I need to be able to demonstrate my knowledge in a confident and professional manner.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I spent a year in France, snowboarding, mountaineering and rock climbing. I've played netball at regional level and I'm a decent boxer. I love any sort of sport really, I've tried most things. Oh yes, and I climbed to Everest base camp in 2008.
If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
Definitely something active. Maybe a sports related job or perhaps I would have joined the Army – although I’ve never been good with being told what to do, so I don't think that would have worked out too well!