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Lee Francis

What are you doing now?

Area Director for Keepmoat Regeneration Ltd., a national market leader in social regeneration.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

It was local and had a very good reputation. Some of my colleagues had previously studied at Northumbria and spoke highly of the tuition they received.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Overall I enjoyed my time at Northumbria. The Quantity Surveying course was tailored to more private practice however gave me a good insight into the other areas. I thought the mix of lectures, seminars and project work was very good. Mixing with full-time students for project week was a good idea as it meant forming teams with a common goal which happens every day in the work place.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

I liked the fact that some of the staff had relevant work experience and had spend a vast amount of time working in similar organisations. This brought real opinions, values and challenges which are faced on a daily basis.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/give your career an edge?

It obviously helped me obtain my degree in Quantity Surveying but probably more importantly helped me develop social skills which has allowed me to continue to learn and progress in my career. Understanding how to research, write reports and diversify away from the given are important facets of developing into a rounded professional.

What was the best thing about your course?

In my opinion it was the project work. Being a relatively shy individual it helped me integrate with other professionals of varying disciplines to tackle a common objective.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Probably project management and risk management. A lot of the courses were very specific such as measurement or town and country planning however project management could be tailored into any circumstance and helped develop my management skills as well as my academia.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria?

Shy, naïve and subdued.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after completing your first year at Northumbria?

Challenging, hungry (to learn) and keen.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after you graduated at Northumbria?

Professional, knowledgeable and confident.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Social development - starting as a shy 18 year old to graduating as a mature and confident 23 year old.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Go for it, give it your all and you will reap the rewards.

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