Starting a Career in Project Management - Water Industry

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Earlier this week, graduate Project Manager, Nathan Williamson, spoke to the Association of Project Management about his career experiences so far. 

"After Graduating with a Masters from Queen’s University Belfast in Construction and Project Management, I began my career as an Assistant Project Manager with McAdams. In my role I support Northern Ireland Water, Northern Ireland’s sole water and sewage treatment provider on a multi-million-pound programme of works called Base Maintenance. The programme aims to replace or renew assets which have reached the end of their design life, and my role is to provide Project and Commercial Management services delivering a broad range of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering maintenance schemes across various Wastewater Treatment Works throughout Northern Ireland. The delivery of this programme is both challenging and exciting, as we work closely with a variety of internal Client stakeholders and framework Contractors in a dynamic and collaborative fashion.

From my first day on the job, I quickly realised that despite achieving a thorough knowledge base of project management techniques within the classroom environment, I had a lot to learn both technically about the specifics on this programme, but also how being part of a diverse project team has helped increase my appreciation of the need for good communication and team cohesion. The successful delivery of each project in the programme requires the entire team to organise and manage each aspect effectively.

To date, I have found the role and type of work extremely rewarding as we work toward enhancing local community and protection of the environment and I now have a much greater appreciation for the complexities of delivering basic sanitation services in Northern Ireland. I am delighted to have the opportunity to help deliver this successful programme through application of my project management skills. A key lesson I have learnt is that within the project management career path the transition from the classroom to the workplace is a challenging one, but that through continuous exposure and learning on the job you can see rapid progression in your abilities and confidence. I look forward to continued progression in my career and ultimately some form of professional recognition in the future."

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