A little over two years ago, Ellie McBride packed her bags and left her home in the UK for a new opportunity with Balfour Beatty in the US. After four years working with Balfour Beatty UK’s major projects business and the opportunity to travel to over 30 countries, Ellie had set her sights stateside.
Working as a field engineer on the Jimmy Deloach Project in Savannah, Georgia, Ellie felt ready for the career and lifestyle changes that came with her move. Although the transition put her in a new role with different expectations, she soon adapted to life on site and began the construction of six structures on the project.
“When I arrived, many things were different from what I was used to, but that is to be expected” says Ellie. “Fortunately, I had our business manager, Sherrie Drinnen. She took me under her wing, helped me settle in my role so that I could fulfill my responsibilities in this new environment. Sherrie’s support made my transition more straightforward.”
Career changes aren’t the only differences Ellie has overcome during her two years in the U.S. On top of tackling a language barrier (deep southern accents can be tough!), there are subtle lifestyle differences that require some adjustment. Everything from calculating time differences when communicating with family back home, driving on a different side of the road and even grocery shopping looks little different. As is her personality, Ellie tackles all of this with energy, determination and a good sense of humor.
While Ellie certainly misses her friends, family and dog, Tom, she’s enjoying her opportunity to work in the U.S. and is making the most out of her time here.
When she’s not hard at work, Ellie likes to explore new places and continues to immerse herself in American culture by attending baseball and football games, traveling interstate to visit friends, hiking and even plans to attempt a few water sports.
Staying true to her adventurous nature and hoping to gain more experience in the early construction phase, Ellie recently made her way to Texas, to begin work on our design-build Oak Hill Parkway project.