Coulson Building Group, providing a comprehensive range of building services since 1884.

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Matthew Vincent head shot

Construction Management

What attracted you to our undergraduate placement programme?

I was attracted by the range of different projects Coulson Building Group got involved in over the East Anglia area. This includes Schools, Colleges, Ministry of Defence, Domestic Work, Refurbishment, New Build and Churches. I thought this would enhance my knowledge in all aspects of the construction industry. I was also attracted by the size of the company, as I did not want to go to a large contractor or a small builder. Being a medium sized contractor, you are encouraged to get involved at all stages of the project, you are not 'pushed' in the corner to do a repetitive task.

Can you briefly summarise your time spent with us and the projects/areas you worked on?

My year was spent on different projects ranging from small domestic projects to large new build projects for high profile clients. I was mainly based in the Cambridge office but spent some time on site. I was involved in ensuring delivery was of a high quality and the project remained on budget and within the required timescales. I was also involved in a successful bid for Coulson to get on the Cambridgeshire County Council Schools Framework. This ensured we would be one of the preferred contractors for all education projects in Cambridgeshire. Over the 12 months my roles involved surveying, estimating, site management, buying and project management. Being involved in all these roles really helped me understand the construction process, from the concept stage all the way through to when a project is completed and handed over to the client.

What was the most memorable aspect of the placement?

Towards the end of the 12 months I was given a small domestic refurbishment to look after. I was involved in project management, site management and surveying from start to finish. It was my job to ensure that the refurbishment kept on programme, quality was maintained and that the client was happy, especially as they were still living in the property. The project was handed over on time and within budget, with very high praise from the client.

What does it take to be successful in this placement and why would you recommend it to others?

You have to be willing to help others, confident and not scared of being pushed in at the deep end. I would recommend it as you really do get involved in every sort of construction project which will increase your knowledge of the construction industry. The office is a sociable place and you are encouraged to socialise out of work hours. All this makes the office a very friendly atmosphere to work within. Personally I learnt more in my year of industry with Coulson, than my 3 years at University put together, so it is definitely worth going for.

Matthew rejoined Coulson after completing the final year of his degree and is currently working in our pre construction department.


Key Facts:

University: Leeds Metropolitan

Placement Year: 2010/11

Status: Now current employee