Helix Commercial Director David Jowett and Managing Director Nic Davies recently went back to school to deliver an online guest lecture for construction students at the University of Westminster.
David and Nic – both alumni of the university – had been invited by Design and Development course leader, Krystal-Kay Dyer, to talk with students and share industry insights about the role of an SME and how project challenges both before and during the construction phase are managed and overcome.
Answering the call
Krystal-Kay, said: “We are fortunate to have had two past students from the University of Westminster speak to current students, which was inspiring for them. The presentation was detailed, practical and related to the module’s aim and objectives.
“The students particularly mentioned that questions were answered well, and they appreciated the real-life perspective of projects. We hope that this partnership is ongoing as we look forward to future projects.”
Partnership to provide student opportunities
As a values-driven SME, Helix puts a lot of emphasis into building high-quality partnerships and giving back to its communities. Helix is working with the university to explore running a field trip for students in 2022 at a live development.
Another University of Westminster connection in Helix’s ranks is current Management Trainee Oliver Pearce. He is undertaking a Helix-sponsored Quantity Surveying degree and working with Helix part-time with David Jowett as his mentor.
Reflecting on the guest lecture, David said: “It was rewarding being invited back and being able to immediately see the impact that was having on the students. They were very engaged and because Nic and I were students there and because Helix is a growing young SME – it resonated with their ambitions, that it is possible.
“I think particularly with the disruptions from COVID-19, it is valuable to provide some encouragement for students and establish connections to the industry with them. Supporting the future generation of construction professionals is an investment into the industry and the skilled workforce building Britain. We would love to go back to do a guest lecture again at some point soon – hopefully in person.”
Ian Cannings, Programme Leader in Undergraduate Construction Studies at the University of Westminster, said: “Many thanks to Nic and David at Helix for their support in our programme of teaching and learning here at Westminster. Their help both in the classroom and through future site and field trips demonstrates excellent collaboration between industry and higher education that benefits our students as young professionals in the Construction Industry.”
Great feedback from students
With many opportunities for questions throughout the lecture, students have since given excellent feedback:
- “Great presentation! Thank you really enjoyed it.”
- “Really interesting session, thank you very much for your time.”
- “Thank you for the presentation guys, very interesting and informative, good to see the real-world scenario.”
- “Thank you for your time and experience. I hope business goes well and who knows in a few years you may have some graduates interested in Helix.”