Following a fruitless spell working as a freelance events coordinator, and an unfortunate relationship breakup leaving her to bring up three young children alone, 38-year-old Rutendo Nhari from Bexleyheath concluded that it was ‘crunch’ time for her career.

Just two years after enrolling for the Construction Management HND course based at our Holly Hill Construction Campus, she has landed herself a dream role as trainee site manager for the award winning construction and property development contractors McLaren.

“I took a huge gamble and a leap into the unknown,” she says, “but it has proved to be the best move I’ve ever made.

“London South East Colleges provided me with two fantastic tutors (Elizabeth and Steve), a very practical and career-focused programme, and an enormous amount of support and guidance. It has been a very short but highly constructive journey for someone who had very little experience of the construction and built environment industry.”

If the new job wasn’t enough of a boost to Rutendo’s confidence, she was also named among the winners at the London South East Colleges Student Awards Ceremony and presented with this year’s CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

Peter Smith FCIOB presented Rutendo with her award and said: “I simply can’t heap enough praise on this fabulous student. Not only has she been an inspiration to her classmates and a credit to the College, she has worked relentlessly to achieve highly and taken part in lots of CIOB events and initiatives since joining our Novus group at the beginning of her course. She has a very bright future ahead of her.”

Rutendo continued: “With the help of the College and the CIOB, I have been given exposure to some of the industry’s biggest hitters. There are currently hundreds of great opportunities out there and construction employers are looking for the most eager and ambitious candidates to join their companies. They also appreciate those who have made the effort to gain valuable work experience and taken advantage of every voluntary opportunity offered them. I can’t emphasise enough just how important this is.

“Winning this award has made me so proud. It has also made my three young children proud too. My son has been telling his friends at school that his mum wins construction awards and they are suitably impressed. 

“Construction management is a very good career choice for both men and women and there are no boundaries or hurdles to stop you going for whatever position you want to. If you have the talent, the drive and determination, you can go all the way to the very top; that is what I intend to do.”

If you think you have what it takes to build a successful career in the construction and built environment industries, or have been thinking of studying at degree level, we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of degree, HND and other professional courses for you to choose from. We are enrolling from Thursday 23 August.

Places are still available on a number of courses, beginning in September. Click here or call 020 8295 7056 for more information.

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