Meet: Simon

Simon always knew he wanted to work in the Construction Industry and was keen to become a carpenter, learn all about his journey here.

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Simon always knew he wanted to work in the Construction Industry and was keen to become a carpenter until a chance meeting with a School Careers Advisor convinced him that he was better suited to the management side of the industry.

“I didn’t even know that this area of construction existed, the advisor gave me a leaflet for Oaklands College and that’s when I took myself along and enrolled on a BTEC National Diploma in Construction Studies.”

At just 16 years old, Simon started the two year course, completing two weeks of work experience within his first year. Simon was able to shadow a Site Manager on an exciting project in Kensington.

“I absolutely loved it, David Lane (my tutor) at Oaklands gave me information about Willmott Dixon’s Management Trainee Scheme and I got the chance to attend and interview with them as a result.

I was fortunate to get on to the Management Training Scheme and I continued my studies at Oaklands, completing a Higher National Certificate (HNC) which I was attending once a week and working at Willmott Dixon for the remaining four days.”

What was your experience like at Oaklands College, would you recommend it? 

“Oaklands College provided a personal approach for me and my fellow students. The class sizes meant that our tutors knew us all really well, which enabled everyone to benefit from the really positive environment.”

Upon completion of his course at Oaklands, Simon progressed onto a three year degree in Construction Management at University, again working and studying at the same time, an experience Simon recalls as tough but highly rewarding.

“Once I discovered Site Management there was no turning back for me and I managed to reach Director of Operations at Willmott Dixon by the age of 33!”

What advice would you give to students at Oaklands College? 

“The advice I would give to students is to be proactive during your studies, find relevant work experience to your course and make the right connections, doing this will create opportunities for yourself!”

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