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Frank Navarro, Director

As a child, Frank always enjoyed playing with his Lego and with a guide from his careers teacher that with a love of maths and physics an engineering career may be a good fit he has never looked back. As a Director he is now growing his own business with a family feel, working hard to put into practice the values his own parents taught him from a young age that self-motivation, hard work and patience can really benefit your career.

Age: 57

Job title: Director

Company employed by: Mason Navarro Pledge

When you were a child, what did you dream you’d be when you grew up? A solicitor

What is the biggest impact your work will or could have in the future?
Providing stable and enjoyable employment to Engineers who can develop and follow their own dreams.

What excites you most about STEM?
Giving young people the opportunity to see an exciting path for their future, in which they have power to develop as they choose.

What do you love about your job? What would you change?
I like helping people to find solutions to problems. The only thing I would change would now try and spend more time giving quality advice and direction to more people rather than getting bogged down in management and detail.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?
A happy client and an engineer who is contentedly working through a design.

What does a typical day at work involve?
A mixture of internal office meetings and visits to other professionals’ offices or to construction sites for meetings. Correspondence via email or talking to people on the phone. One of my main responsibilities now is to secure new work for the company, so I spend a lot of time maintaining and making new relationships with clients.

What’s the most unexpected thing about your job?
Recently, how well all my colleagues were able to adapt to working at home. We have over 40 staff and all now work at home most of the time, still liaising with each other and external project teams to develop designs and prepare drawings which are allowing contractors to keep building.

Did you have any role models when you were younger?
Not career-related ones, but both my parents were self-motivated, hard workers who were patient and customer-focused. They started and grew their own business, where I worked with them and my siblings. That’s got something to do with why I wanted to start and grow a business too, which also has a very “family” feel to it.

What inspired you to do the job you’re doing now?
My 6th form careers teacher at school told me that being good at maths and physics, I should consider engineering. I read the University prospectus’ for a range of Engineering degrees and most liked the content of the civil engineering courses.

Any influential toys during childhood?

Your favourite subjects at school?

Qualifications (school/college/university):
O and A levels, Civil Engineering degree from Imperial College London.

Your reason for choosing this career?
I liked the professionalism of Consulting Engineering and the way that everyone works in teams to get projects delivered. The continual flow of new projects and gradual build-up of one’s own knowledge and experience keeps things from becoming stale.

Tell me about your career path to date?
I took a job as Graduate Engineer with Andrews, Kent and Stone in 1983 after graduating from Imperial College. Was based in their London office near Oxford Circus and became a Senior Engineer there after becoming Chartered with the Institution of Structural Engineers. Moved to Lister Beare in the early ‘90s, based in North Hertfordshire but still doing mainly London projects. In 1998 I left and set up my own practice, which has now grown to over 40 strong.

If you could have any job what would it be? How does it differ from what you’re doing?
Something that involved more overseas travel, I think. My career has given me some nice opportunities to work on projects outside the UK, but I am still hungry for more!

Your advice to a young person considering a career in STEM?
Keep an open mind about which actual area you want to work in; that way you can follow your heart and do what you most enjoy.