I am originally from South Tyneside, and I was not a high flyer at school. As a mature student, attaining a First Class Honours degree has always been an ambition as most of the folks I work around seemed to have degrees and I felt my academic background wasn't as strong.
The University was recommended to me by several co-workers and as it was close to where I live and work it was possible for me to study part-time and continue working full-time, as I had my employer s full support. The option of part-time study, whilst continuing to work full-time was really valuable to me and meant my family commitments and other financial aspects weren't disrupted in any way. Although I was studying part-time and I am a mature student I felt fully integrated into university life.
The diversity of those on the course was amazing; the students were from different backgrounds, ages and even countries. It was great to have the opportunity to interact and share knowledge. The mixture of modules made learning interesting and enjoyable.
I have achieved great things as a result of my studies. I was able to make my dissertation work-related and was proud to have developed a new energy/water saving program which in 2013/14 saved the United States Air Force $1.8m. My work received the highest recognition from the United States Department of Energy and I was the first ever UK citizen to receive the coveted Federal Energy Management Program FEMP award at a ceremony held in the National Archives, Washington DC in December 2014. I was also awarded the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Professional Construction Student award for my hard work, visible progression and excellent dissertation.
I was incredibly proud to receive my BSc (Hons) in Construction Management in front of my peers, my wife and son Jamie who have supported and encouraged me throughout the past five years. I am now working as Base Energy Manager for the United States Air Force.
I would say to anyone considering studying here to go for it, there will be highs and lows of course but you will learn stuff that you will carry forward for the rest of your life and it will help shape you as a person. The University has truly embraced the concept of continual improvement of the course materials, the infrastructure and the overall study environment which is terrific. I see the University continuing to expand, improve and moving up in the university league tables, becoming the premier educational establishment in this country.