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Programme Manager for Construction & the Built Environment

Dan’s story is all about following your passion and where it can lead you, especially when you’re not quite sure where you’re headed at first. 

Growing up in Plymouth, Dan studied at Ivybridge Community College, where he was torn between becoming a teacher or joining the police. However, he always had this niggling interest in construction …

“I think I’ve always been particularly interested in construction, but more so in the management side of things – mainly because I wasn’t too keen on getting my hands dirty all the time!”

After a gap year working in his family’s plumbing and heating business, Dan decided to dive deeper into the construction world by studying Construction, Management & the Environment at the University of Plymouth, where he graduated with a 2:1. Leaving university during the credit crunch made job hunting tricky, but thanks to his hands-on experience, he managed to keep himself afloat by returning to the family business and practising using the skills he’d picked up.

After a few years, a friend who worked at City College Plymouth suggested Dan try his hand at teaching on a level 3 BTEC course one day a week. This part-time role quickly evolved into a full-time teaching position, and before he knew it, Dan was promoted to Programme Manager for Construction & the Built Environment and hasn’t looked back since.

“I find teaching in higher education particularly rewarding, because it allows me to dive into different strategies like peer-to-peer learning and pick up insights from students who are working in industry. 

It’s a great feeling, seeing your students succeed. I recently caught up with a former student who has landed a fantastic job with a large local employer after gaining the knowledge and experience from the modules we did together. Hearing stories like that makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

And, even though Dan spends his time teaching students, he’s all about pushing himself to learn more and do better, which led him to gain a few extra qualifications along the way. 

“It’s all about upskilling myself to give my students the best learning experience possible and City College really let me do that. I’m showing up for myself so I can show up for my students.”