School of Engineering

James

James

Surveying and Mapping Science: BSc (Hons) graduated 2016

  • Engineering Surveyor, Skanska UK

I currently work and live in the Humber region.

I'm working on a joint venture to put a 5km tunnel under the River Humber to join two above-ground gas installations. My role is to make sure that the client is happy, and that all parties can work together and survey everything in the right location.

James: Surveying and Mapping Science: BSc (Hons) graduated 2016

Why did you choose to study your course at Newcastle University?

I have always loved Newcastle as a city, and it's a bit of a family tradition to go there. But to also find a course that was top in the country and mixed a choice of practical hands-on work and theory appealed to me.

What did you like the most about your course? Did you do a placement in industry or project with industry? If so, how has this experience helped you in your career?

The great one-to-one assistance and approachability of the staff meant any questions were answered quickly and thoroughly. The practicals helped me to obtain two summer placements, one at a Land Surveying company - Paragon Surveys. This gave me enough experience to apply for a paid summer internship at Skanska on a crossrail project. Both jobs also helped my learning in the second and third year, with a real-world element cementing theories in my mind.

How would you describe the city of Newcastle upon Tyne?

Welcoming is the first word that comes to mind. It is such a friendly city to study in. Everything is 20 minutes away, either by walking or metro. You can be in town one day, then by the coast in the afternoon! Also the nightlife is in a league of its own.

What do you think about the clubs and societies that you could join? If you were a member of one, what sort of activities did it involve?

I joined badminton, canoe and kayaking, and CEGsoc. Every club welcomed me and gave me another avenue of entertainment alongside everything else.

CEGsoc was course-related, so meeting up with other years and going on trips and events made you feel like the very niche course was a big family. I still ask graduates of the course, no matter what year, if they were part of CEGsoc.

Where did you live? Was it easy to find somewhere?

In my first year, I lived in Richardson road where Park view now is. That was a great experience for a year. It was definitely in need of modernising but at the same time was cheap and cheery. In my second and third years, I lived in Jesmond.

I found it straightforward to find places to live.

How do you feel your course or other activities you were involved in at Newcastle contributed to you achieving your career goals?

Massively!

Were you involved with the Students' Union (societies, sports, sabbatical officer) during your time at Newcastle? If so, how has this impacted on your career after University?

I was a member of CEGsoc, then a social secretary, and then I moved up to head social secretary. These roles gave me the confidence and ability to organise different events and gave me a position of responsibility.

I was also a member of the UGSSC and BoS for my course, representing issues and events our year had to lecturers and senior staff.