Journey to Director: Sasha Armstrong
Current role and team: A Director in the Retail & Leisure Property Management Team with more than 13 years’ experience managing shopping centres, leisure and mixed-use developments across the UK, Sasha achieved MRICS Qualification in 2008. Sasha is a Mental Health First Aider, and a winner of Ellandi’s Partner of the Year Award.
Joined Workman: 2013
Having joined Workman in 2013 as an Associate, in what ways did the firm enable you to progress your career to Director level?
I was given a lot of responsibility early on, particularly regarding the management of Workman’s instructions with Ellandi. The openness and accessibility of the Partners and Equity Partners, along with their willingness to share ideas and offer guidance bolstered both my professional knowledge and confidence.
At other firms I had previously worked at, it had been much harder to speak to more senior staff due to more formal hierarchical management cultures.
In your journey to becoming a Director at Workman, what have been the most significant or pivotal moments?
When I first joined, I was overwhelmed with how friendly the team were. I had moved from Glasgow to London and quickly became friends with a lot of my colleagues and we would meet socially outside work. My friendships with my colleagues still help me today. It’s great to come to work and be surrounded by good people.
What memorable properties have you worked on during your career that you now look back on as invaluable experience? If so, why?
One of my shopping centres in the midlands has been memorable as our client bought it from an owner that had been in receivership for a number of years. No investment had been made into the property for a long time, so there was a lot of work to be done.
It was difficult to manage at times, as the tenants were frustrated. However, looking back, the challenges it offered provided great learning experience.
What single thing did your closest Workman mentor, or manager, teach you that’s been most valuable in your career so far?
That there is no substitute for going to meet clients face-to-face as often as possible.
What are you most looking forward to about the future of property management?
I am looking forward to (hopefully) some normality after working through Covid. It’s been a tough time for all of us, and I’m enjoying getting back out onsite more often.
What do you think are the most important aspects of coaching and developing younger staff in your team, and why?
Letting them know that they can always ask for help. I remember starting as a graduate and being worried to ask questions as everyone seemed so busy. It’s important to ask if you’re unsure, as that’s how you learn.
What advice would you give to Workman graduates starting now, in today’s unique (post-Covid / hybrid-working) circumstances?
Meet as many people within the firm and externally as you can. Travel to other offices. Work is a lot easier if you have a strong relationship with your colleagues, clients, and tenants.
What attributes do you look for when recruiting graduates / junior staff, and why?
I look for people who seem willing to learn, and those who would be a good fit for the team and clients.