Kevin McDevitt, Laing O'Rourke

Kevin McDevitt, Commercial Director of Laing O'Rourke, describes his career so far.

Degree subject Quantity Surveying and Construction Economics
Job title Commercial Director
Employer Laing O'Rourke

I joined the business as a graduate quantity surveyor in 1985. I have worked within the commercial function for the past 20 years and I achieved my current appointment as Commercial Director of Laing O'Rourke Ireland when the business offered the role to me.

A significant part of my responsibilities revolve around commercial, financial and contractual matters. I am also responsible for the identification, recruitment and development of the young people in the department and I am a strong advocate of continuous learning at all stages. I also have responsibilities in health and safety and I see this as a very personal responsibility irrespective of discipline – our ambition is to send everyone home from work safe, every day.

For a number of years I have been responsible for directing and contributing to the graduate programmes and training we have in our business. The programme offers a variety of opportunities to gain experience in different disciplines within the business to provide a solid footing for the future.

The construction industry is such a vibrant and challenging environment – my question would be ‘Why would you NOT join the construction industry?'.

Advice for graduates

Get a good degree, be interested in the subject you have chosen and be able to communicate confidently and knowledgeably. Do your research before any interview and be natural.