Christian Lakin Dick - MSc Construction Project Management

Christian Lakin Dick at P&J Live
An Aberdonian postgraduate who returned to university to change his career path has successfully graduated from RGU with a master’s degree in Construction Project Management.

Christian Lakin Dick, 26, was only just out of higher education when he jumped right back in following a rethink about where he wanted his career to take him.

“After completing my undergraduate degree, I realised I wanted to pivot away from sports science. During my time at university, I realised I had a penchant for project management through getting involved at a high level in events management and sport clubs.

“Project management is a sort of cross-roads. You exist as a focal point between clients, suppliers, contractors and staff. Managing the flow of information between all of those elements brings a perspective on a project that can be insightful. Learning how to develop in that space and bring value to a project is learning how to be of value to all of those individuals.

“RGU offered a course that appealed to me, but also had a strong track record in graduate employability. Coming through COVID, it was clear to me that the job market was becoming more competitive, and that employability factor was key.”

Having now obtained his latest degree, Christian reflected on the benefits gained.

“During my undergraduate I learned how to study. My postgraduate has taught me how to be a professional. I was exposed to a completely different demographic of peers on this course, all older and many from around the world.

“Learning how to not only exist and learn in this environment but thrive was of tremendous value. My time management skills were tested, but undoubtedly improved alongside other professional skills such as communication and perseverance.

“One of the things that stood out to me were the inclusive teaching methods. At every opportunity we were asked to work in constantly changing groups, fostering collaboration. This was one of the key elements in the course that has prepared me for professional life. Another was the opportunity to complete my dissertation as a placement project. This has without a doubt boosted my career.”

Christian’s progress through RGU was not plain sailing and during his postgraduate degree he found a large benign cyst in his abdomen that required surgery and him stepping away from studies for the next year while he recovered.

“The University and faculty were incredible over this period. During this time, I felt as though my life had stopped, which after the end of social distancing was extremely difficult as I watched my peers from my first year continue with their studies and graduate. When I returned it felt like I had never left, and for this I am eternally grateful.”

Having overcome his health setback, Christian enjoyed a period of placement work with a local business that has proved pivotal and his passion for this new career is clear to see.

“My supervisor and course leader were also both very accommodating to my master’s dissertation project. It required three-months placement with a project in a small local business. While outside of my courses traditional remit, they worked with myself to ensure it was possible and a fruitful project, resulting in my full-time employment afterwards.

“RGU massively prepared me for this. Between developing professional skills, contacts, and directly playing a part in getting me started on the career ladder, there is no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am currently without my time at RGU.”

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