George Demetri’s story

Tell us about your time at UCEM 

I studied with CEM because, when I spoke to John Fiddler in 1999 of the then English Heritage, he said it was a better course than that at another institution I was considering, so that decided it. It was distance learning which suited me down to the ground. I particularly enjoyed the courses on architectural history and the philosophy of conservation by John Earl, as well as the field trips to Lacock and Cirencester. I was self-funded and paid for the course following a win of £5,000 on the Premium Bonds – it was that or putting the money toward a new car. I chose the CEM course and, given how my career has developed, it was definitely the right choice. If I remember correctly, my dissertation on gasholders got the second highest mark.

Tell us about your experiences since leaving UCEM 

I like to think that the Postgraduate Diploma in Building Construction was really instrumental in helping me break out of my freelance journalism role: first I got a high-profile role at the Brick Development Association (BDA); then, as editor of World Tunnelling magazine and finally, my current position as a technical writer with WSP – a leading global engineering consultancy. The post-grad diploma not only enhances your educational profile but also speaks volumes about you as you have gained such a good qualification in your spare time.