What does your job involve?
I work with all aspects of Site Management on a construction project which involves the building of some fifty new homes. This work includes project quality control, project programme and progress, plant management, daily evaluations of how the site is performing, identifying possible opportunities for streamlining and ensuring health, safety and environmental working practice is adhered to.
How is what you studied at university relevant to your job?
My course at UHI gave me a solid foundation to build on, allowing me to have a starting point from which I could develop. The construction sector is very similar to some of the projects we worked on during the course, and we would always need to be aware of the constant changes with the aim of developing a final well delivered conclusion.
How did you get into your current job and where do you see yourself going with your career in the future?
After graduation I had applied for a couple of positions, I was offered one but declined it as it was not of enough interest to me, Robertson Northern were having an open evening at the local school prior to them starting the E.M.S.P project just outside Oban, I decided to take my CV and showed it to as many people as I could, about two weeks later I was asked for an interview and offered the position of site manager and, as they say, the rest is history.
Since graduating I have gone on to complete my NVQ level 4 which has allowed me to secure my CSCS Black Management card, I have completed my five day SMSTS, three day first aid, scaffold inspection and temporary works co-ordinator courses. I would like to move on and secure a position as Project Manager and to keep progressing in this area.
What advice would you give current students?
Challenge everything, and always push to learn more. I embarked on a career change after 15 years of being in the construction industry, physically doing the job at a practical level before making the choice to move on to management. I feel it is good to have a degree of practical experience because being able to relate real experiences will assist you with your studies. Also don’t ever forget the people you manage as they are the key to your success or failure, I treat all my site operatives on the same level, I am not above them, I am equal to them. Good project management involves working well with people - as they will help to ensure you can deliver a project on time, on budget and of a high standard.