Adam Roberts, a Development Project Manager with United Welsh, has recently completed the MSc Construction Project Management at USW.
"I was drawn to project management as I wanted a challenging, technical and rewarding career that would allow me to have a mixture of both office and site based work.
There is no such thing as a typical day in project management, meaning that one day you could be office based co-ordinating the project design team, and the next day, you could be on site inspecting works or discussing value engineering proposals to resolve issues.
It is this variation in workload that keeps me on my toes and is the reason why I would recommend this as a challenging and rewarding career option to anyone who shares my views.
The most important factor was selecting a course with RICS accreditation, as this would allow me to progress down route to becoming a Chartered Project Management Surveyor. Working full time alongside studying on this accredited course has allowed me to start my APC journey, meaning that I am now en-route to Chartered status.
Aside from the professional recognition of the course, I feel that the course content gives a true representation of what happens in industry, which therefore boosts the employability prospects of students and graduates of the course.
As the project management course is assessed via a number of different methods, you not only get the chance to improve upon your written ability, you also get the opportunity to develop your presentation and public speaking skills.
The masters course is structured to allow you to gain experience in the use of numerous software packages specific to the construction industry, including Revit and MS Project. Knowledge of how to use these software packages is vital for a Project Manager within the construction industry, and further enhances your employability prospects.
The other students are great! There is a good mix of part time and full time students, with many students working in industry whilst studying. I feel that this mixture makes the course less intimidating for both those in industry, and full time students.
The teaching style of many of the lectures is fairly relaxed, meaning that you don’t feel intimidated asking questions. In addition to this, the lectures also make excellent use of the resources available to them, meaning that recordings of certain lectures are stored on Blackboard, which makes a huge difference when it comes to exam revision!
The biggest challenge that I faced during my studies was to balance my work, home and academic lives. This is the challenge that you face when you opt to study part time alongside full time work commitments.
The only real way to overcome this, and still achieve the results that you want is to really ‘knuckle down’ and prioritise your workload. This is not to say that you have to sacrifice to achieve on the course, you just have to be disciplined and willing to fit your studies around your existing commitments.
I started the course as an Assistant Development Surveyor, and through my commitment (to the role and my studies) and professional development, I was promoted to Development Surveyor, and more recently to Development Project Manager. I am now in charge of a number of new build and refurbishment residential projects at various stages of development the development lifecycle.
The Construction Project Management course has really helped to improve my confidence in my own abilities, as I have been able to directly relate the content that I have covered to my day job."