May 23, 2013
by Angela Lopez, Mexico City office

Interview #2 - Graham Spittal

Hi!! I believe I am having such a great time in China it seems unbelievable I have already been here for one month and 20 days; I am already halfway of my exchange program. Time is going so fast…

Last week I was assigned to a new project: Shanghai American-Sino International Women & Children’s Hospital. I will be working on this project for the final DD submission in June. I have been helping coordinating the work between architecture team in Shanghai and interior team in Dallas; it is also a shared project between offices. I was asked to work as a kind of BIM manager for this project; this is mostly what I have been doing in the Mexico City office, so I feel comfortable with this role.

As I have been told the Shanghai office is still very new to Revit, they have had only one training class from people coming from Dallas. Still, with that little knowledge of the software, they have managed to finish three really good projects. I believe this is how the international offices start; it was the same for the Mexico City office 2 or 3 years ago maybe. We managed very large projects with extremely fast deadlines and therefore we are forced to learn on the way. I suggested that instead of taking over all model management it would be a better idea to teach the project’s Junior PA – Jenny Sun all that I have learn so far so that she could be the BIM manager for this project and future projects in the office.

I also offered myself to give a Revit Seminar (10 sessions) to cover basic themes, HKS standards and best practices and more advanced themes that I have found very helpful. Alex Ling (Principal and Senior Vice President) was happy with the idea and he asked everyone to attend. We organized it as a lunch and learn activity every Monday and Friday. We have had 2 sessions now, I feel happy to be able to share what I know and also for me is a good challenge, to make the class clear enough for new users and interesting for more advanced users as well. I realized I really enjoy preparing my class and teaching! =)

Outside of the office I have been visiting many places, touristic destinations and some others my colleagues have suggested me. I am sharing with you some pictures from those places! Last Sunday HKS participated in The Hospital Build and Infrastructure China 2013 Exhibition in Nanjing. I attended the event with some colleagues (the healthcare team), it was really interesting and I believed we all learned a lot.

Interview #2 – Graham Spittal - Shanghai Office

Last week I had lunch together with Graham at the office because we were both really busy. We actually had a conversation more than an interview because he was really interested in knowing a lot about Mexico and my office. So, here is what I can tell you about him…

Graham has been working in the HKS Shanghai Office for 2 years, he started on May 9th,2011. He is from Toronto, Canada and he has been living in Shanghai just over 2 years now. He lives in Jing’An District which is approx. a 30 min walk or 15 min by metro. Typically, he takes the metro to work and then walks home, depending on the weather.

He told me he has been to Mexico in 4 different times; most occasions were coastal areas (Both Pacific and Gulf of Mexico). He was really interested in the cultural life in Mexico and if I had been able to find similarities or major differences with China. As one of the oldest cultures in the world I find Chinese culture very rich in traditions, literature, music and cuisine. I have noticed Chinese people feel very proud of that; in that sense I find it very similar to Mexican culture. We also have very ancient traditions and great cuisine that we feel very proud of. One thing that makes Chinese culture different from mine is martial arts; the way the parks and every public space is full of people practicing tai chi, I find it amazing!

Graham told me he does not have any particular favorite place in the city but he had some suggestions for me: Xintindi, Tianzi Fang and The Bund. Places I have already been to. His advice for me for the time I will be living in Shanghai was: “Have fun and explore freely to maximize your experience and be willing to try all different types of food. Shanghai has a wide spectrum of cuisine types to try!!” - Let me say I am totally following it!! =)

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