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I AM BCU Ebenezer Otieno

Ebenezer Otieno

Construction Project Management - MSc

After completing an undergraduate degree in BSc Construction Management in Kenya, Ebenezer decided he wanted to continue his studies and complete a Masters. After researching into a range of universities in the UK, he found that the  MSc Construction Project Management  course at Birmingham City University would be the most beneficial to his future career.

"My university experience has been a fundamental learning curve for me, not just academically but also personally. I have learnt to look at the bigger picture and see that the small moving parts determine the success of the larger project – that is the key to project management.  

After completing my bachelor’s degree in Kenya, I still had so many questions concerning my profession so I decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in MSc Construction Project Management. After researching into various universities in the United Kingdom, I found BCU was best suited for me as an international student. 

When I first began my degree, I struggled with understanding the structure of assignments and felt deflated when I didn’t do very well in my first assessment. I improved my work, my thinking, my thought process and my reading skills. Sometimes, a quick question after class is all it took to help me and I am grateful for how supportive my lecturers were. 

One of the biggest challenges I faced socially was leaving Kenya and my family behind and starting afresh; making new friends, getting used to a different lifestyle and adapting to new environments. When I first moved, I was nervous about meeting new people but joining a society and collaborating on projects with others in my class, allowed me to become more confident.

As I continued to improve on the written aspects of the course, it enabled me to start broadening my view of project management and entrepreneurship. Through informative lectures, guidance from lecturers and the use of many resources that BCU provides, my knowledge of industry has grown immensely. Just some of the skills I have developed include understanding laws and regulations, project management methods and considering stakeholders as well as the anatomy of innovations. A lot of management skills include being able to organise projects but more importantly understanding the psychological aspects of managing groups of people. 

I am most proud of how much I have learnt, not just about the industry but also within my personal development. Whether this was using industry standard facilities, gaining confidence in my project management skills or being challenged by my lecturers to try new project structures or work with others. My university experience has also enabled me to be recognised for my academia from the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and BCU. Some of which include, the BCUSU SAL of the year award 2020 and the CEBE Examination Board, EBE Postgraduate prize. I have also recently been elected the treasurer of the African Students Society, which has enabled me to meet others and really feel part of the university. 

I am now better placed to solve problems, to lead, to be a part of a team and take a step into industry.

To me, ‘I AM BCU’ is a statement of pride, a sense of belonging and a home away from home. It is a reference to an institution where I have become a better person and where my journey into my dream career began." 

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