18 Jul A day in the life of a Junior Project Manager
Name: Vishal Pandya
Job Title: Junior Project Manager
Tell us about yourself:
I finished completing my A-Levels (Biology, Economics & Sociology) in June 2018 and I passed all of them. It was after my A-levels that I realised I wanted something hands-on and I wanted to get my foot in the ‘world of work’. So my journey started when I attended a career fair, I believe it was called the Job Show, it was there where I met an Apprenticeship Advisor for my local borough (Hounslow).
She helped me understand my strong points and helped me narrow down apprenticeships that might be suitable for me. One of the apprenticeships that stuck out to me was Project Management offered by K10 who are working in partnership with Heathrow Academy.
K10 was founded in 2010 to address the declining number of apprentices working in the construction sector and the difficulties contractors faced when committed to delivering effective apprenticeship programmes.
Within this company, I have been put on the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. The Heathrow’s shared apprenticeship scheme is a new and innovative approach that helps bring together all of the construction apprenticeship opportunities at Heathrow. K10 apprenticeships helps facilitate this by employing apprentices directly and managing their work placements throughout the lifetime of their apprenticeships at Heathrow.
I got called for several interviews and tests etc which I managed to do well in and so I was very fortunate in terms of the apprenticeship that I wanted, I got!
I started my role as an apprentice Project Manager at another company but unfortunately my experience initially wasn’t great and I realised that working for a company that was big and of unusual culture was not for me, I therefore took the risk to leave and reported this to my K10 apprenticeship programme manager and I told her how I felt. Lucky for me, because I was within the shared apprenticeship, I was able to move around to different companies. Patiently waiting, I eventually got given an interview with Thomas Interiors. From the good feedback received, I started my journey with TIL on 2nd April 2019.
What made you want to get into project management?
I really loved the fact you had to be organised and thorough and this was evident in my school work as well as at home, my room is extremely organised and clean but it is down to the strengths my Apprenticeship Advisor helped me identify and a role I was really drawn to.
What does your role involve?
- Understanding what the client or company wants to achieve
- Agreeing the timescales, costs and resources needed to deliver the project
- Drawing up a detailed plan for how to achieve each stage of the project
- Directing a multi-disciplinary team and ensuring that each stage of the project is progressing on time, on budget and to the right quality standards
- Reporting regularly on progress to the client
- Resolving any issues/ delays which may occur
- Reviewing project procedures
- Preparing the final report at the end of a project
- Making sure everything is on time, budget and built to the highest standards
- Communicating with clients, contractors, colleagues and suppliers on the progress of a project
- Making sure all paperwork is done for making bids and spending
- Managing several projects simultaneously with a team of more Senior project managers to support me in the delivery
- Labour Scheduling
- Assisting other project managers, or managing projects on behalf of them whilst they are away (Hoarding Projects)
Tell us about something you’re really proud of in your career so far:
Currently, I would say my most proud moment would be in the successful completion of the T5 Reach Office Decoration works but it was the excellent feedback from Raj Patel to managers Derek and Neil to say how well I done, was what made me very proud as I feel I am adding positive value to TIL.
I hope to gain more experience and work my way up to being a fully qualified Project Manager who knows the correct procedures and habits to have in order to be successful within my role.
What advice would you give to someone else thinking of becoming a project manager:
Advice I would give is, don’t limit yourself to something you know, I didn’t have clue about construction, I guess you can only really know when you have experienced it. 100% speak to career advisors who will guide you in the best way forward.
Is there anything else you would like to add:
I have so much great support from the Project Management team here at Thomas Interiors, especially Neil and Andrew, which really helps when trying to find your feet at something completely new.
Picture above taken when Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Airport CEO, hosted a coffee morning with Apprentices from Bradford Swissport and Heathrow Academy, including Vishal Pandya who is currently on the Level 4 Associate Project Management course on our Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. Vishal is being hosted by Thomas Interiors LTD.