Simon Bromyard is a current student on the Hull Online MSc in Engineering Management. We spoke to him about why he chose to study this course and his experience of online learning.
Q: Tell us more about yourself and your background?
A: I’m a Project Director for a world leading company in pipeline rehabilitation and green energy, based in the Middle East. We do everything from project management to sustainable green energy to pipeline protection pipeline rehabilitation, mostly for the oil, gas and energy sector in Bahrain.
I've lived in the Middle East now for 19 years and I'm juggling work, play and study. I've previously worked as a Construction Manager and a Project Manager on some of the most prestigious construction projects in the Middle East, with thousands of men on site.
Q: Why did you want to do the MSc in Engineering Management?
A: I wanted to do something that's directly related to what I do. Rather than business management, I wanted to do project management. I like to get on site and be hands-on. I've done project management and construction management for many years, but for me, every day is a learning day.
Q: Do you have allocated, dedicated study time during the week?
A: When I'm at work in the Middle East, I try and find time. Any time I get in the office, I'll sit down and log on to Canvas, the online learning platform. If I get there early, I'll study. If I finish work at 5pm, I might stay for an extra 45 minutes to study.
Q: What does a typical week look like for you, Simon?
A: I have to say that during my first module, I was doing around 35 hours a week. But I’m 47 and haven't studied since I was 16. I was learning to study again. I was reading absolutely everything I was sent.
By the time we got to the second module, I was doing around 25 hours a week, because I had learned how to get back into studying. I knew what questions to ask the lecturer and I knew what to ask other students. Now I’m doing around 15 to 20 hours a week. It works for me.
Q: How do you manage your time?
A: I'm very focused, to be honest. As soon as the assignment comes out I have to sit and read through it and try to get the majority of the work done straight away. I can't have things pending, but that's just my nature. I try to get things done early, as early as possible, knowing that.
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Q: What skill set is required to be a successful student?
A: I think that the secret for me is the fact that I make notes. I pay attention. I make time for the webinars. I was down in Yemen on the Yemen border, and I was travelling to my camp and listening to the webinar. I try to listen because if somebody is going to take the time to teach me, I'm going to take the time to learn.
Q: What do you consider your biggest success so far?
A: My biggest success to date on this course is achieving over 50% on my first two modules. This is not just for me, it's for my family as well. I'll be the first person in my family to get a degree. Wow. My father’s retired now. He's 72. And it will be the proudest moment of my life when he comes to join me in Hull to see me get my degree certificate.
Q: Can you share any advice for someone thinking of doing this course?
A: The course is daunting when you start but the lecturers are there to help. They don't want you to fail because it's their reputation at stake as well. They're very knowledgeable and they will guide you through the modules. It's just a joy to be taught by people who enjoy teaching. The lecturers are all very responsive to any questions and nothing's too much trouble.
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