Find out what studying for an MSc in Project Management for Construction online is like with our interview with construction professional Jillian Bedeau-Callender.
Jillian Bedeau-Callender is a student on Portsmouth Online's MSc in Project Management for Construction. We spoke to her about why she chose to pursue a master's, how she balances studying with parenting and other commitments, and how the University supports online students like her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I have worked in the public service of Trinidad and Tobago for the past 20 years. In 2009 I was appointed as a Town Planning Assistant at the Town and Country Planning Division and in 2016 I was recommended for the position of Development Control Inspector.
The Development Control Inspector is responsible for examining applications to develop land in rural districts; we make site inspections to determine whether proposals and plans conform to the Town and Country Planning policies and the Town and Planning Ordinance.
Since I have been in this position, I have met people from all walks of life, and I have made some lifelong friends. I feel like I have improved people's lives, and they have also improved mine because I must admit one of my qualities is a willingness to know and learn more.
Why did you choose to study Project Management for Construction online with Portsmouth?
I am a working mom. I have two children, a seven year old and a 10 year old so going to a classroom is not an option. I did it before when I was studying for my Associates Degree.
It was difficult therefore I decided to change things up this time because I can access information and look at past lectures anytime. I can manage my time better.
I was motivated to study Project Management for Construction at master's level because I wanted to become more marketable and I wanted to gain more knowledge in the field.
What has the support been like during the application process and your studies?
Firstly I must say I am impressed by the University's excellent customer service. My Course Adviser gave me all the facts about what is expected and always kept in touch with valuable information about the university.
This attention has shown me the University cares about its students and their well-being. The support from Tutors and Student Advisers is great.
How do you balance work, social life and studying?
Sometimes it's difficult because my children are doing online school due to the pandemic. I wake up earlier than the children to study or just go to another room and let them know Mummy needs one hour!
My social life is very important after assignments are completed. I just shut down the computer. These things work for me.
What are the networking opportunities like for online students?
Students in my class are in different time zones, which can be a challenge. However, the students I've interacted with have been very welcoming and it was nice to learn about their countries. I will say its depends on the individual and whether they are an introvert or extrovert.
How do you think the course will help you in your career?
This course will help me to plan, coordinate and execute a project on my own with a team. It has taught me how to work with people, so it will help me work better with people in the field.
What’s your advice for anyone else thinking of studying Project Management for Construction online with Portsmouth?
You need to find the time to do the work, so if you don't have the time now, wait until you do. If you choose to pursue the course and you need help don't be afraid to ask for guidance - you will get it. The support system is great.
Develop the leadership skills to land a project management role with our MSc in Project Management for Construction. Choose from three start dates a year and study part-time and online: