Mature student Jacqueline Pendley has built her dream career after taking the plunge and studying a construction degree.
The 44-year-old decided to add qualifications to her experience after being made redundant from her job of 10 years and realising a change in direction was needed.
She met with staff at the Faculty of Science and Engineering and decided the BSc (Hons) Construction Management tied in with her passion for construction and interest in project management.
Now the mum-of-two Jacqueline is delighted to be graduating at the Grand Theatre this week with a first class degree.
Jacqueline, from Dudley, studied the course part-time over five years, juggling her studies with full-time employment and looking after her son, who is now nine.
She says: “It was hard to juggle childcare and the financial side of things, but there was also my lack of knowledge. Many of my peers were already working in construction, so understood the procedures and processes of the industry. I was also aware that women are under-represented in the industry and I was conscious of my age, as some of my peers had only just left college, so I wasn’t sure that employers would consider me. There were times when I thought I would give up, as it was also hard spending time away from my family.
“It was a hard slog, and it was not easy to get where I am today. But I am on cloud nine to have achieved a first.”
Jacqueline attended a jobs fair at the University, and was delighted to meet with experts from Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB). After going through an interview process, Jacqueline was thrilled to be offered a job as a Project Manager at the company, which has supported in the final stages of her studies.
Her next ambition is to complete her Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) accreditation, and then go on to achieve Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accreditation.
Jacqueline wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course and the University to anyone hoping to boost their employment credentials.
“I found the staff extremely supportive and absolutely fantastic,” she says. “It really was an eye-opener for me, I never thought I would go to university so it was an amazing opportunity. The staff were so helpful, failure was not an option – they just want you to go forward. It was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it.”