Undergraduate student Jamie Hart on managing work and study while leading a student society
26 March 2018
Jamie Hart is in his second year of the BSc Project Management for Construction and President of the UCL Construction and Property Society.
In his society role, Jamie - who joined UCL in 2016 - has organised and encouraged students to take part in construction related activities and networking opportunities to make the most of their university experience. We caught up with Jamie to find out how he balances leading a society while studying.
How did you become interested in applying for the BSc in Project Management for Construction?
I have been fascinated by construction from a young age and have always wanted to work within the industry, but have never known exactly what I wanted to do. I was looking mainly at civil engineering courses. When I was in Year 12, many of my friends were applying for university summer schools and so I stumbled across a summer school course at UCL ran by the School of Construction and Project Management, which I really enjoyed. After the summer school, I looked more into the programme and it covered everything I found interesting within construction.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect of your degree?
For me, I think the most difficult aspect of my degree is time management. I didn’t want to come away from university with masses of debt, so as well as having lectures three days per week, I usually work at least three days a week. I also live at home and travel into London, so I spend about two and half hours a day commuting. Along with running the society, getting assignments and revision done, it is always challenging.
Are you considering pursuing further academic study after graduating?
At the moment, I’m really looking forward to progressing my career after graduation. I am currently working for Gardiner & Theobald two days a week, which is really exciting but academic research is also something I would definitely want to consider undertaking into the future.
You are the President of the UCL Construction and Property Society (CPS). How has your experience in this role been so far?
I’ve really enjoyed my time running the society. I think we’ve had a pretty successful year. As a committee, we spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year deciding which direction to take the society, we met with the former committee to discuss what had and hadn’t worked well and decided to rebrand the society to appeal to more people and aid our case for UCLU affiliation. We achieved UCLU affiliation at the end of 2017, which will ensure greater funding from UCLU in the next academic year. We also put a lot of work into the website and information packs to show to potential students and firms within the industry what we aim to do as a society and how they can get involved. Although organising events and the administrative work definitely takes a lot more time than I had anticipated, the committee have done a great job this year.
How do students benefit by joining the Construction and Property Society?
For any student interested in careers in construction, the society offers great opportunities to learn about the industry in ways that lectures cannot. Over the past year, we have held five site visits to projects including the new UCL Student Centre and Gasholders London, our next visit is to Google’s new European Headquarters in Kings Cross. Site visits offer a great opportunity to see the topics you learn in lectures put into practice and allow you to meet and talk to industry professionals, which can be a great tool for gaining work experience and placements and boosting your career.
We also organise social events that allow students to meet other like-minded students across different years and provide a platform for BSc and MSc students to mix. In addition to this, students can get involved with our guest speakers, book swap scheme and our monthly newsletter that provides an update on the society and opportunities for students.
From a student’s point of view, what do you think students can receive from UCL and the BSc Project Management for Construction that they can’t elsewhere?
For me, students studying BSc Project Management for Construction not only get access to UCL’s world class facilities but are also located in probably one of the best spots on the planet for construction. You only have to walk for a matter of minutes through central London to get an idea of the extent of the number and scale of projects that are going on here. From massive infrastructure projects such as HS2, Crossrail and Thames Tideway to redevelopment schemes including Kings Cross, Stratford and Battersea and thousands of one-off smaller projects, University College London is the place to be.