IN THE SPOTLIGHT

With over 30 years of experience in civil engineering, Taj Ishola believes staying motivated and inspired is essential in his role as a civil engineer, ensuring excellent work outcomes for the construction industry.

In the Spotlight

Interview with Taj Ishola, Executive Director, Highways

Q1. Could you tell us about your background and journey that led you to the AIS family?

Originally born and raised in Nigeria, I pursued my university education and started my professional career in the UK. After completing my studies, I had the opportunity to work in various challenging roles that helped shape my skills and expertise.

In January 1994, an exciting opportunity arose when I was seconded to the Taiwan Office. This experience broadened my horizons and provided valuable international exposure. Following my time in Taiwan, I was further seconded to the Hong Kong Office in July 1994 for what was initially a six-week assignment. Little did I know that this assignment would become the start of a long and fulfilling journey in Hong Kong. Since then, I have been based in Hong Kong, and it has become my home.

Q2. What is the day-to-day of your role like?

My day-to-day role is a dynamic blend of feasibility studies, design, design management, project management, contract management, marketing and proposals, and continuous professional development. This varied mix of responsibilities keeps me engaged, challenged, and motivated in my work.

Q3. What do you enjoy most about working here?

What I find most fulfilling about working here is the chance to make a meaningful difference through our projects. The ability to contribute to the development of infrastructure that improves lives, promotes sustainability, and addresses societal challenges is both inspiring and gratifying. It’s a constant reminder of the importance and value of my work.

Q4. How do you stay motivated and inspired in your role? Are there any specific strategies or approaches you follow?

Staying motivated and inspired in my role as a civil engineer is crucial to delivering my best work and contributing to the field. While motivation can vary from person to person, I follow several strategies and approaches that help me maintain a high level of enthusiasm and passion: maintaining a healthy work-life balance, continuously learning and adapting, seeking inspiration from various sources and collaborating with others.

Q5. What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned throughout your career?

By remaining open to learning, honing communication skills, seeking diverse experiences, showing initiative, and embracing technology.

Q6. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career at AIS?

This is an exciting time for someone to start their career at AIS, where filled with opportunities and growth. My advice would be for them to embrace the learning journey, seek guidance from colleagues, take initiative, embrace collaboration, develop a growth mindset, and prioritize their well-being.

Q7. With a predominantly local workforce in the Hong Kong office, can you share your thoughts or experiences about the diverse and inclusive culture at our workplace?

Creating a diverse and inclusive culture is an ongoing process that requires commitment and active participation from all levels of the organisation. By embracing diversity, workplaces can cultivate an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and included, leading to higher employee engagement and productivity. When individuals from different backgrounds come together, they bring diverse skills, knowledge, and expertise, creating a dynamic environment where teamwork thrives. The exchange of ideas and perspectives leads to more robust discussions, increased creativity, and a broader range of possibilities.

Q8. What’s something surprising that not many people know about you?

Journaling – I keep a daily journal and the type of music I listen to – Hip Hop, Rap and RnB!

Q9. Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies or interests that you enjoy pursuing?

Volunteering at Inner City Ministry – a non-denominational Chrisitan Care Ministry working among the Ethnic Minority community in Yau Ma Tei and the Home of Loving Faithfulness, which cares for children and adults with special needs.

Q10. How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? Are there any strategies or practices that you find helpful?

Hiking and jogging – they help with stress management!

What I find most fulfilling about working here is the chance to make a meaningful difference through our projects. The ability to contribute to the development of infrastructure that improves lives, promotes sustainability, and addresses societal challenges is both inspiring and gratifying.
Taj Ishola
Taj Ishola is the Executive Director, Highways at Asia Infrastructure Solutions. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of civil engineering, particularly in the areas of planning, design, management and implementation of a variety of infrastructure projects. In Hong Kong, Taj has contributed to projects such as the Trunk Road T2, Art Park at West Kowloon Cultural District, Tsuen Wan Drainage Tunnel, Improvements to Tung Chung Road, Kap Shui Mun & Ma Wan Viaduct. Beyond Hong Kong, his project experience includes the Melco’ City of Dreams in Macau, the Ukhaa Khudag to Gashuun Sukhait Railway project in Mongolia, Laibin’ B’ & Meizhou Wan Coal Fired Power Stations in China and First Freeway Widening, Taiwan.

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