Keep updated on Built Environment industry insights and thoughts from UCEM Principal: Ashley Wheaton.
Introducing… Our new student trustee
Posted on: 27 August, 2021
We recently appointed a raft of new student representatives as programme reps, ambassadors and trustees. The most prestigious of these roles is that of student trustee with input given at board level where strategic decisions are determined.
There are two student trustees on the board and, here, one of those two trustees, Grant Alexander – a principal quantity surveyor at Middlesbrough Council – shares his thoughts on the new role, what he hopes to achieve and how he’s found his studies so far…
Why go for the student trustee role?
I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to represent students and influence the board to improve and support the UCEM student experience and contribute in a small way to successful outcomes for those students.
I didn’t know what to expect when I applied but I found it a pleasure and insightful to meet with UCEM staff and members of the board who are extremely passionate about the student experience at UCEM.
‘Surprised and delighted’
I was surprised and delighted when I found out, and hope that I can continue the amazing work of my predecessors.
I’m still in the early stages, but I have really enjoyed my interactions with the staff and board members and Muhammad [Ahmed – fellow student trustee and lead student representative].
Hopes for the role
I’d like to successfully represent students and support them in their studies. I’d also like to contribute and support students with disabilities such as myself.
I have several mental health conditions and a physical disability. These are known as hidden disabilities as most people don’t even realise I have them, but I do experience difficulties in my day-to-day life in trying to manage these conditions.
UCEM’s disability and welfare team members were extremely kind, helpful and contacted me regarding any support they can give me. I certainly would have taken up their offer of help if I didn’t have already have my own support system set up.
In satisfying my desire to support students with disabilities, I would like to help raise awareness of the support that is available from UCEM and I would even be happy to discuss the problems I experience in work and my personal life to raise that awareness. I previously had to keep my conditions completely hidden due to a very real fear of discrimination and no one should have to go through that.
Studying on UCEM’s MBA
My studies have been challenging but enjoyable. There is a big difference in the learning experience from my previous Postgraduate Diploma in Quantity Surveying (2006-2009) with UCEM and today’s experience. Previously you were sent hardcopy files of all the UCEM course content required and had to purchase or find in libraries all the supplementary information. You had none of the IT resources through the VLE as you do today and certainly no webinars. Progress is a beautiful thing and I am really enjoying the experience.
I find studying online convenient and relatively easy to use. There’s a lot of content which is very interesting and stimulating.
Future hopes in the sector
I’d like my next move to be a more senior management role within my sector hopefully leading to an executive role in the future, but, one thing at a time, I will concentrate on attaining the MBA first and then see what follows from there.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Grant, and best of luck with the trustee role and the MBA!
If you are a UCEM student and would like to get in touch with Grant, head to the Student Hub on the VLE and go to My Voice for his contact details.