Joe Houghton

"My current profession and role is a direct result of the initial grounding I received when studying at MMU"
About my career

My current profession and role is a direct result of the initial grounding I received when studying at MMU. My current post at Balfour Beatty as a Project Manager was not something I had envisaged when I started my degree in Landscape Architecture, but MMU gave me the skills to think laterally and these transferable skills have proven invaluable. One of the best things about my course was working in the design studio, which helped develop my ideas and creativity.

My first job after graduating was as a landscape designer with a former authority landscape architect. I sent my CV out to local businesses and was self-employed for a brief spell; I contacted local people and businesses to get as much work as possible to develop my portfolio for future interviews and job applications. When I was at University vocational placements were not as common, and I would recommend anyone studying at University to undertake a year in industry because of the valuable experience you gain. Even now, Concession Project/Contract Management is a field that is not widely known or considered when looking for work experience or placements, it requires a well organised and motivated skill set.

My top tip for students is…

The hardest thing to do when applying for jobs is to convince your potential employer that you have relevant experience. This is why I think it is vital to do a placement. Do as many things as possible at University; join a club or society, make friends and network.

I’m inspired by…
Why I love Manchester Met

I love MMU because it gave me opportunity to network and meet people.