Starting a Career in Project Management - Social Housing

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Earlier this year one of our graduate Project Manager's met with the Association of Project Managers to discuss his career to date.

"After undertaking a four-year BSc degree in Business and Information Technology, and maybe heavily influenced by watching too many Grand Designs, I felt that I need a slight change in my career path. I reviewed my options and decided to enrol within an MSc in Construction and Project Management (PM), as I felt that this offered me the opportunity to pursue a diverse and challenging career in construction. I’ve never looked back. After graduating, I joined McAdam in Belfast, Northern Ireland (NI) as an Assistant Project Manager. McAdam is a leading consultancy practice providing Engineering, Architecture and PM Services for the Public and Private sector across the UK and Ireland. Primarily, I work to deliver large, complex social housing projects for housing associations across NI and the Republic of Ireland. From construction programmes, risk registers and meeting minutes through to assisting in the development of multi-million-pound housing schemes and everything in between, my role as an Assistant Project Manager has afforded me a wide variety of opportunities to continuously learn and adapt to meet the challenges of the built environment.

Project Management is primarily the Management of Change. As John “Hannibal” Smith might say, who doesn’t love it when a plan comes together, but very often in my experience, even the best-laid plans can become derailed unless they are carefully managed by skilled PM practitioners. As a career, PM enables you to rise quickly in terms of the scope, scale and diversity of projects that you can work on. Every day, I gain more practical experience and further opportunities to refine my technical skills as I work towards my industry chartership, which I believe will lay the foundations for my future success. However, I am acutely aware of how fortunate I am, to have received the education I have and the career opportunities I have been able to pursue. I hope to use the skills and experience I am gaining to make me a better project manager and result in positive outcomes on the community-based projects I work on.  Project Managers can come from any background, have a wide variety of previous experiences, any academic discipline or previous career path. As long as you are an open-minded person, can adapt to change and is ready to work hard, and with assistance from organisations like the APM, you can be a successful Project Manager and Maybe some-day you will also be able to put your skills to good use on a well-known Channel 4 self-build reality tv show!"

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