Darren Wells on how he climbed the ranks in the construction sector.
Darren Wells is not your typical graduate. He began working in the construction industry at the tender age of 17, and has spent over a decade in the industry. However, he was also keen to study, and completed a BTEC, HNC and HND before enrolling on the BSc (Hons) Construction Management degree at LSBU.
“I’ve always believed it is a great idea to get an education behind you, as it lays a strong foundation when looking for jobs and opening up new avenues,” says Darren. “Studying Construction Management was the right choice for me because it gave me a broader insight into the industry rather than focusing in a specific field.”
Lots of my colleagues in my old company had gone to LSBU, and I was told they are one of the best in the UK for construction-related degrees, so that helped me to make up my mind.
Another key factor for Darren was the fact that he was able to study part-time, carrying on with his job while adding to his skillset. “Holding a high pressured job at the same time as studying for a degree is challenging, but it taught me a lot about how to manage my workload – not just balancing between university and work, but how I tackle tasks and projects in general,” he says. “The programming unit I undertook has also helped me understand time constraints not just onsite but within the supply chain for manufacturing lead times.”
As a result, Darren is more confident at work, and has moved through the ranks to now work as a Design Manager. “It means I monitor and deliver projects from tender through to completion,” he says. “It involves meetings with clients, contractors and subcontractors and comes with pressures – but I love it. I’ve worked on some incredible projects, including hospitals, airports and stadiums.”
Darren is enjoying his role at the moment, but is flexible when it comes to the future – thanks in part to the wide range of skills he acquired at LSBU. “I could be a project director, a façade package manager, or part-owner of a specialist envelope contractor,” he says. “The range of options open to me now is huge.”
Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Construction Management at LSBU.