MGAC Impacts: Amy Hudson on the Art of the Bid, Chasing Success, and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place
The Impact Blog is a spotlight series that highlights and celebrates the diverse employees that make MGAC tick. Beyond their day-to-day schedules, we want to know how they have a greater impact on their colleagues, their company, and the communities in which they live and work. We want to know what makes them get out of bed in the morning, what led them to their current role, and what they hope their lasting impact will be.
Today, we get to know Amy Hudson, Senior Bid Manager at MGAC | RLF.
MGAC: Welcome to the Impact Blog, Amy!
Amy Hudson (AH): Hi! It’s great to be here.
MGAC: Tell us what you do here at MGAC | RLF.
AH: I am the UK’s Senior Bid Manager. I’m based out of the Birmingham office, and I predominately lead and work on pursuits for the Midlands region. But I also manage national framework pursuits.
MGAC: And when did you first join the company?
AH: I first joined RLF in 2015 as a Bid Coordinator, working largely on cost management bids. I left in 2018 to get a little more experience working with different service disciplines and in different sectors for a larger international company. I learned loads there, but it turns out I couldn’t keep away from RLF! In June 2021, I re-joined as Bid Manager.
MGAC: Awesome! Let’s back up a little more—what first brought you to RLF back in 2015? Were you already working in the industry?
AH: I’ve actually always been in the industry. I’ve worked in construction since I was 16, and I’m now nearly 34. So, literally all I’ve known is construction! I started as an apprentice working for main contractors. That developed into estimating, and I got a flair for submission packages and working on bids. I ultimately spent 10-plus years working with contractors, and in 2015 I moved over to the consultancy side.
MGAC: Very cool. So was this always a path you planned to go down when you were younger?
AH: To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t know what I wanted to do. That’s why I didn’t go straight from school to additional studies. I wanted to get into an apprenticeship, start working, and learn that way instead. It was fortunate that I fell in love with the industry I chose!
MGAC: So true! And it definitely sounds like your plan to learn on the ground paid off.
AH: It really did. I came in as an apprentice at 16, doing business administration, and I also explored HR, marketing, and then estimating. I found that I really enjoyed going out and working on site. Today, my experience working with technical teams and understanding of how buildings are built makes all the difference in how I approach my Senior Bid Manager role.
MGAC: Speaking of the work you’re doing today, what’s been keeping you busy?
AH: In the last few months, specifically for the Midlands region, we’ve had some high-profile tenders come in. We recently got the all-clear on appointments for a massive new mixed-use development in Birmingham. It’s in a part of the city center that’s being regenerated, with lots of investment going in. The project will be phased out into plots: it’s part residential, part retail, and part commercial. It was a massive bid to put together, so it was incredible to see all of our hard work pay off when we landed it. We’ve also got a lot of higher education tenders at the moment, and are waiting for a massive national framework to land. So safe to say, it’s really busy!
MGAC: You aren’t kidding! As you strive to get it all done, what’s a typical day look like for you?
AH: It’s so different every day! The last few months have been crazy with deadlines. Most often, my day means multitasking: Dipping into tenders, putting first drafts together, liaising with the technical teams. I’m constantly engaging with people to see how bids are progressing, what’s outstanding, where our drafts are. I’m definitely one for picking up the phone!
MGAC: It sounds like the most consistent element of your role is that it involves a lot of moving parts! What other challenges have you been faced with so far?
AH: When I joined the business back in July, I actively took on the challenge of evolving our bid process. It’s really a culture change in how we bid—pursuing the absolute highest quality of bid over quantity of bids. We spend time ensuring the project strategically fits our business and assess our chances of winning it. We’ve built in extra time to review content and stay organized by setting deadlines. The team I work with in the Midlands has done a great job in adopting it, and it’s already led to some incredible wins.
MGAC: Very cool to see that hard work paying off. What have you learned from evolving that process and getting the team’s buy-in?
AH: That no one can win a bid in isolation. It’s a team approach, engaging the right people and sector specialists. It’s truly as simple as communicating with people from our various offices, following a bid plan, and keeping everyone engaged throughout the process.
MGAC: It sounds like those recent wins are for some impressive projects. How do you hope your work will impact your community at large?
AH: I think about all the lives our work touches, and how we’re able to improve the buildings they use every day. For example, a new student accommodation project we’re starting soon will mean university students can have access to central, comfortable accommodations here in Birmingham. I think about all the students from elsewhere—they will now have a place in the city center to call their own while they are here to do their studying. That can really make all the difference for someone!
MGAC: So true! Through this work, you have the potential to positively influence so many lives. On the flip side, what at MGAC | RLF has made an impact on you?
AH: It’s helped me grow my confidence, massively. When I returned in 2021 after working for a much bigger company, I realized I felt empowered to spearhead the bid improvement process because I knew I had the team behind me. And today, I’ve seen the difference those improvements have made. It’s really incredible. We’re tendering projects that, 10 to 12 months ago, we never would have thought we’d tender.
MGAC: That must feel so rewarding.
AH: Absolutely. To see us be awarded these high-profile projects has been brilliant. And not because it’s just myself, but because the team is treating tendering differently now. The quality of the bids is improving, and we’re all so engaged and eager to win work.
MGAC: You’re so enthusiastic about the work you’re doing here at MGAC | RLF. What’s the source of that energy?
AH: I’ve always been really career-driven. I think it’s hereditary—my mom was in a senior post in her career. Our work ethics have always been strong. Today, I’ve got a little boy, and he is my world. Now I have another reason to do it!
MGAC: How wonderful. How old is he?
AH: He’s 5…going on 15!
MGAC: Haha! You’ve certainly got a full plate. What’s your secret to winding down at the end of a busy day?
AH: I’m a massive podcast listener. One of my favorites is Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place. She’s a UK journalist and TV persona, and she interviews a different guest every Monday. It’s basically all about people having honest conversations.
MGAC: We’ll give that a listen! What about your secret to starting the morning off on the right foot?
AH: A strong cup of black coffee!
MGAC: We’ve talked a lot about your personal and professional motivations. When you think about the legacy you’re leaving behind, what do you want your lasting impact to be?
AH: That I tried my best—from both a work and personal perspective. I think it’s as simple as that. I hope people say, “Whatever she went for, she gave it 100 percent, every time.”
MGAC: Next, we’ve got a round of rapid-fire questions for you.
AH: Ask away!
MGAC: Describe your job in five words or less.
AH: Challenging, rewarding, creative, solution-driven, innovative.
MGAC: What’s the first thing you do at work every day?
AH: Check emails.
MGAC: And the last thing?
AH: Check emails!
MGAC: Ha! What’s the weirdest thing we might find in your desk?
AH: My son’s Minecraft cards and bouncy balls.
MGAC: What’s your go-to weekday lunch?
AH: If I’m starting the week “right,” it’s a salad. By the end, it’s a burger!
MGAC: What’s the most used app on your phone?
AH: It has to be Instagram.
MGAC: What’s your biggest work goal for 2022?
AH: For me, it’s pretty straightforward: I hope I can continue to develop a team that grows our business. In short, engage in tenders and win bids!
MGAC: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
AH: I honestly don’t think there’s anything they don’t know about me. I’m an open book!