Walking through the city of Gothenburg, Kathryn Bjärvik views the current building projects around her. She smiles at the thought that her company is actually involved in many of them, as a project manager at WSP.
Kathryn was born in England, studied Mechanical Engineering in both England and Germany and is now working in Sweden. A globetrotter who is passionate about creating sustainable buildings together with her WSP colleagues and customers around the world.
As a schoolgirl, Kathryn found maths and science interesting, especially space. She also liked language and art which made her confused about what to continue to study and work with. But since both her parents were engineers she was inspired to consider it and after a couple of career fairs, she decided to start at engineering school.
Today, Kathryn is proud of herself for choosing mechanical engineering instead of following the crowd. She decided to follow her heart even if most of the other girls in her high school were interested in other subjects.
Kathryn’s first job was in the middle of a busy London. Her assignment was to help design new sustainable schools. The purpose was to improve the well-being of students, by creating better ventilation heating, and lighting working closely with architects. After her graduate program in London, she fell in love with a Swedish man and decided to move to Sweden, Gothenburg. Since engineering is a global profession, Kathryn could easily continue her career as an engineer within the building sector in Sweden.
Why the building sector?
- It is exciting to be involved in the transformation of a city, especially when so much is happening in Gothenburg right now.
- Humans are currently changing and adapting to new ways of living and working. We are creating better spaces for collaboration, digital interactive team meetings and quiet zones for video calls. That’s exciting!
- Possibility to work with sustainability through better solutions connected to ventilation, heating, water, lighting and many more areas involving building projects.
- Possibility to work abroad and collaborate with international colleges to learn from each other and create better ideas.
- Possibility to be creative, work with innovation and future industry trends.
Why consulting and project management?
- You do a lot of different projects, often with people from different disciplines and specialties
- You work and communicate daily with both customers and colleges in Sweden and abroad
- You are a part of the planning phase of coming up with good solutions, the core of the issues, the bigger picture. It can be very creative!
If Kathryn could give herself some advice when she was 15 years old that would be to not be afraid to make mistakes, everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Also, try not to follow the crowd if you have a passion for something else. Search for new interests, talk to people who can inspire you and be open to constant change.