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Isabelle Laliberte

McBains, Project Director

Isabelle has had a rather unusual career path: she was doing international trade of meat (import & export of containers of meat around the world) and retrained to become an architect. Isabelle is from Canada and worked internationally for several years (both working in other countries and with clients around the world), and moved to the UK 17 years ago. Three years later, she went back to university and did the whole 7 years full-time training to become an architect, whilst still working full time. Isabelle qualified with Distinction from the University of Greenwich, and climbed back up the ladder somewhat to now being a Project Director within 7 years of qualifying. This path has seemed interesting to people she has discussed it with in the past because they can recognise themselves in this, or they have questions about how to make a decision about career change. It was not an easy change, and certainly not without heavy personal costs, but it was worth it. Isabelle qualified as an architect, but these days, she is acting as a programme manager and key client account lead, managing 2 large-scale programmes of works and their respective teams for a large government department, as well as doing technical architectural compliance on other projects.

Isabelle has done some informal mentoring to a few of the younger architects in her practice, helping them with their Part 3. She was introduced to Mentoring Circle when another one of your mentors, asked her network on LinkedIn about an architect doing project management and Isabelle was connected to her. She did a couple of sessions with one of the mentees in the programme. Isabelle would love to help people via mentoring, because every time she has done it, she has also learned a lot, so sees it as a really valuable exchange.