Graham Currie

Senior Project Manager at Ledcor Construction Limited in Canada
BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying 2008 and MSc in International Project Management 2009

Graham Currie 680px

Are you glad you came to GCU and why? 

When I left school, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do. At that point, I wanted to work in the construction industry but I had very little experience in the field. None of my family shared the same interest so I was going into the unknown alone. I decided to look at options in universities across Scotland, finally settling on some form of surveying. 

I applied for both Quantity and Building Surveying and was accepted into the Building Surveying course. I remember realising on the first day I had made the right choice. My classmates were great and I made friends instantly, I still keep in touch with many of them. The content of the course was also ideal and exactly what I had been hoping to find, albeit somewhat by chance as I was quietly rooting for the Quantity Surveying course. 

I have so many great memories of my time at GCU, most of it with the new friends I had made throughout my time or (attempting) to study in the Saltire Centre. I also remember being terribly sad at the end of my BSc and talking to classmates about what was next. 

A handful of us decided to look at postgraduate options and were fortunate enough to be accepted into a one year MSc. That was the right choice not only at the time but for my future career. 

How has your GCU degree helped you?  

Since leaving GCU, I spent another year in Scotland searching for a job in the construction industry. It was 2009, and the market wasn't the busiest. Most of my classmates had found success in reapplying to the employer they had during their six-month placement. However, the company I opted for was too small and wasn't hiring. 

So I decided to try my luck overseas, I left in August of 2010 for Calgary in Canada. Within a week, I had secured a job with Ledcor as a Junior Project Coordinator on The Bow, which is a $1.4bn 58 story office tower. I stayed in Calgary for two years, working my way up to Project Coordinator. I met my now wife and then moved to Edmonton to work on a $180m 26 story office tower as a Project Manager. 

Since then I have completed that project and am now a Senior Project Manager working on another office Tower in the province of Saskatchewan. I travel a lot as I still live in Edmonton with my wife and dogs. 

In my time at Ledcor, I was awarded the Ledcor Innovation Award in 2013 which is a yearly award across the company of over 2,500 for most innovative new idea in that year. I have also recently been awarded my Gold Seal Certification, part of the Canadian Construction Association, and am currently working towards becoming a member of the RICS. 

What advice would you give to current students and new graduates? 

I often found it difficult to stand out in class. I've never been the most outspoken, in fact quite the opposite, and often my grades weren't anything special. They were middle of the road for the most part. I understood the content, but would often find it difficult to motivate myself when it came to papers or submissions. 

However, since moving into my profession I have excelled in my field. It’s amazing how much from both courses stuck with me. Even if at the time I dismissed it as something that I'd never use again so I suppose my advice would be don't doubt yourself. Even when you see other classmates getting 90% and you struggled to get a 65%. It's all soaking in, and when it comes time to start your career, you'll impress yourself immensely.

At 31, I am now one of the youngest Senior Project Managers in my company and I don't take that lightly. During my time at GCU, there were lots of times where I thought about giving up, or when I couldn't find work after. I could've changed fields and worked in a job just to pay the bills. But I didn't, I took a chance and it paid off big for me. Believe in yourself and your abilities and it'll take you far.

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