The Bartlett


Alumni Q&As - Kelvin Saddul: Taking an open-minded approach to studies

Kelvin Saddul explains why being given real-life context while studying leads to an open-minded approach to work.

Portrait of Kelvin Saddul

Kelvin Saddul is a graduate of the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction having studied for a Project Management for Construction BSc (2017-2020) and Construction Economics and Management MSc (2020-2021). He now works at a construction consultancy as a Graduate Project Manager.  

How was UCL different to your previous experiences in education? 

The people. I had the opportunity to make lifelong friends with people from various countries, cultures, and religions of all various ages. This meant I could take a different, open-minded approach towards my studies.  

What attracted you to UCL? 

There were three main reasons really. Firstly, UCL has a reputation of being consistently ranked amongst the best universities in the world, and the Bartlett School for Sustainable Construction is a leader in the field of construction. The calibre, dedication and commitment of the university staff within my subject are arguably some of the best available, with many lecturers holding accolades for global influence in terms of their research. And finally, UCL is renowned as a ‘Global University’. You have the opportunity to meet students from across the world and diversify your way of life through joining societies and celebrating other cultures, traditions and festivals.  

What aspects of your studies did you enjoy the most? 

I enjoyed being taught by professors and lecturers who have a wealth of experience, and were able to provide a real-life context to the concepts that they taught. Also, the quality of work which was presented enabled a high-level understanding of concepts which was informed by years of research.  

Describe your time at UCL in three words. 

Insightful, informative, vibrant.  

What were the most interesting things you did, saw or got involved with while at UCL? 

During my MSc study, I took the role of an Academic Researcher for UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. I was able to produce a report on the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) within buildings.  

Also during my MSc study, I was the lead postgraduate taught academic representative for all MSc programmes within the BSSC. 

In what way did studying in London enrich your studies? 

London is renowned for its exciting construction projects. Travelling in and around London, you have the opportunity to see these projects live in progression. This is fascinating because it is these specific projects which inform professors research through case studies and presentations.  

Who inspired you most at UCL and why? 

Dr Aeli Roberts. Aeli, was thoughtful, open minded and very comprehensive in the topics she taught over the four years I studied at UCL. Aeli specialised in a range of topics, and is able to provide an answer to literally every enquiry you have. Her research papers are forward thinking and enable an understanding of what the future of construction looks like.  

What advice would you give to students considering UCL? 

Be open minded. If there is an opportunity which makes you feel uncomfortable, take it with both hands. UCL is more than just a degree, the opportunities to develop yourself are endless. Put yourself in situations where you must delve into a realm of yourself you haven’t before. An example could be, joining a society which you have an interest in. You will be able to make connections and you never know, it may be these connections which contribute significantly to your success in terms of your personal development or career.  

How did being at UCL change you and the way you think about yourself? 

UCL allowed me to learn new concepts and different perspectives . which made allowed me to be more open-minded. I was also able to develop more confidence through writing reports, presenting my research, and collaborating with other professors and students.  

Which parts of your UCL experience were the best preparation for your job? 

My experience as an academic researcher, and lead PGT representative of all MSc programmes in the BSSC and a Bartlett Ambassador. These roles gave me the soft skills which are essential for emotional intelligence that is required of my role.  

What are your future ambitions? 

To become an accredited project manager.  

What advice would you give to a student looking to get into a career in your sector? 

I would say go to every networking event and talk to everyone. Use LinkedIn to connect with alumni who studied your course and have the exact same route you want to pursue. And try and source work experience. During your experience, you will make contacts who may assist you in your future endeavours such as research or sourcing a graduate job.  

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