Salford graduate lands job at Barratt Manchester after working on the ‘house of the future’

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

A University of Salford graduate has landed a job at Barratt Developments in Manchester, the UK’s largest housebuilder, after successfully completing a placement working on the ‘house of the future’.

Michelle Heath studied HNC Construction and has a Master's in Construction Management in which she achieved a First.  Shortly after graduating, she began her placement onsite of the Z House, a unique flagship zero carbon home concept.

She said: “I’d been trying to get a job for ages. I was getting through to the interviews and getting really good feedback, but it always came down to my lack of experience.

“So, I spoke to Nicky Harris, my lecturer, and she got me into contact with Barratt Group who were building the Z House at the university. I didn’t think much of it, but then I had an interview, and everything went well, and I started.

“Being involved in a project that is known as the house of the future was a fantastic opportunity, especially for a student who just came straight out of university.”

Whilst on the placement, Michelle went out of her way to go above and beyond with her tasks and to learn as much as she could during the whole experience.

She continued: “I was always asking questions, getting involved and speaking to everyone because lots of people were there as it was such a big project. And that gave me more confidence with what came after.

“We had a lot of external stakeholders, so I tried to build up relationships with them when they came around. When the project was coming to an end, I approached the director and told them what I wanted to do, which was site management. They already had an idea that I wanted to do that, so they said yes  when the contract ended, they were more than happy to bring me over to Barratt Manchester.”

After completing her placement, Michelle started with Barratt in Manchester as an Assistant Site Manager and is grateful for the experience her placement and degree gave her.

She added: “All the tutors that I had at the university were there for me whenever I needed them. I didn’t really have much idea of what I would be doing because it was all new to me, so from the get-go, they were really helpful. So, that was really nice, and I enjoyed it.

“And I think that if I didn’t do that placement with the Z House, I wouldn’t have been able to get into Barratt. They wouldn’t have got the opportunity to see me working, they would have just thought I wasn’t good because of my interview, so placements are a good step in the door, and it got me through to the next stage.”

In her new role, Michelle is onsite once again and does a variety of tasks including managing construction workers, tracking progress, shadowing and being directly involved in the production of the homes being built.  When asked about the new role she said:  “Every single day, I feel amazing. I get up early in the morning like 5am, but I’m buzzing. Before, when I was studying, I was going to bed later and my days were completely different, whereas now, it’s structured and organised and I feel really good. I’m onsite and it’s really muddy, I’m covered in mud all the time, but I love it. It’s the best feeling ever.”

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