Project Management is a very rewarding career
James Morgan, from Blackwood, graduated in 2010. He is currently the Cardiff Office Lead Associate Director for Currie & Brown, part of the Global DAR group.
Describe what you do
I am Associate Director and Office Lead for the Welsh Region and lead Project Manager for consultancy projects throughout Wales for one of the industry leading companies. I represent the client and their advisers during every stage of a project from inception to aftercare and am heavily involved in business development.
Why is it a good profession?
Project Management is one of the best professions for anyone who is curious, organised and goal orientated. No two projects will ever be the same and require a lot of planning and thinking on your feet. It is very rewarding when two years’ worth of planning, organising and monitoring culminates in a project that will be there for generations to come. There are very few professions where you can drive past and say: “I helped make that!” It is also a profession that is widely needed all over the world, with internationally recognised professional institutions.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love bringing together complex teams of highly capable individuals to work together on difficult construction and consultancy projects.
What have been your most notable achievements during your career so far?
I was a Specialist Consultant Project Manager for Balfour Beatty, and got to work all over the country on several high-profile projects on the Resource Efficiency Programme. Also, during my dissertation I started a pathway which, after completing my degree, I developed into a system that accurately forecast the cost of construction waste removal at the outset of a project. After extensive testing, the system proved to be accurate to +/-£1000. These projects ranged from £7m-£125m and covered an area between Aberystwyth to London for a combined portfolio of £422m. Now, I specialise in project recovery after delivering £330m of projects directly, with involvement in a further £856.5m.
Why is working in Project Management a good profession?
It's perfect for anyone who is curious, organised and goal orientated. No two projects are ever the same and require a lot of planning as well as thinking on your feet. Most of all it's very rewarding. When three years worth of planning, organising and monitoring culminates in a project that will be there for generations to come. There are very few professions where you can drive past and say "I helped make that!" 10-15 years later. It is also a profession that is widely needed all over the world.
How has the construction project management degree helped you in your career?
The day I graduated, my former Director promoted me! The qualification has been a great help on two levels - it shows to employers and clients that I have invested the time to learn about best practice and the key principles to make projects successful at an academic level. Secondly, it shows to professional organisations such as CIOB, APM and RICS that I will uphold their values in an articulate, professional manner. Both are key requirements when building the correct professional team.
What were the most valuable aspects of the course?
At the end of my first year, I approached a Balfour Beatty company, Cowlin Construction, for unpaid work experience over the summer months to try and get some experience. I explained that I was undertaking the construction project management course at University of South Wales and hoping to come into the industry. Seven-and-a-half years later, they had paid for the remaining two years of the course and I had been promoted three times within the organisation. The course enabled me to understand the complex and intertwining aspects of construction and the planning stages to successfully deliver projects.