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Billy James, BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering


United Kingdom
I did a yearlong placement with NMCN, a company which NTU has great links with. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and finished my placement with a graduate job offer from NMCN.

More about Billy

Why did you choose NTU and your course?

Civil engineering was always the subject I was going to do from when I was a child. Construction has always interested me, and a Civil Engineering degree gives such a wide skillset to allow me to succeed in the industry. After viewing multiple universities, NTU stood out the most. The facilities, links with industry and friendly staff on the open day made the choice easy for me.

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing about BSc Civil Engineering is its ability to prepare me for industry. Most of the assignments are real world problems, giving me unique attributes which can be used in my future career.

Have you been involved in any live projects or exciting briefs? What has stood out to you?

A lot of the modules/assignments are real world scenarios. The final year group project stands out as a frontrunner. The project involved re-designing a section of the Nottingham Waterfront to promote the use of cycling. The group activity ended with a presentation in front of industry professionals which really encouraged us to impress as a group.

Have you completed any work placements on your course?

I did a yearlong placement with NMCN, a company which NTU has great links with. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and finished my placement with a graduate job offer from NMCN. Using skills that I had learnt from university and putting them into practice in the real world greatly developed my confidence going forward into my final year of university.

How did you source your placement?

The NTU Employability team were extremely helpful when I was applying for my year placement. I failed with four interviews but after seeking help from the Employability Team I was able to source NMCN and succeed in the interview.

What marks out of 10 would you give for course facilities and why?

9. The wide range of labs/workshops, great IT facilities, large library and spacious lecture theatres have given me the best chance to succeed in my degree.

Does the “real” NTU match what you’d imagined? How does it compare with your friends’ experience at other universities?

NTU is everything I expected and more. Before starting I didn’t expect the lecturers to be so interactive. They have provided a lot more support than I would have expected – much more that other people I know at different universities.

Have you been on any trips with your course?

During my time at NTU I have attended a few trips. The surveying trip during my first year is the one which stands out the most. A week in the Lake District while completing practical coursework was a great way to develop our skills – skills which I then used during my placement year.

What do you think makes NTU a top university?

Many reasons! Great facilities, excellent teaching and good social events. For Civil Engineering specifically it would have to be the links with industry. The University provides the best opportunities for its students to achieve the placement / graduate job they want. Assisting with CV writing, interview techniques, site visits and providing the latest job opportunities.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to NTU?

Take advantage of every opportunity that the university puts in front of you.

How would you promote NTU to potential students in 10 words or fewer?

It will be the best years of your life.

What three words would you use to describe Nottingham?

Diverse, social and historic.

Nottingham is the UK’s best student city. Agree or disagree?

Agree. The bars, restaurants, clubs and sporting events have made it a great experience for me.

Where would you recommend visiting in Nottingham?

Music events at Rock city are some of the best in the country. The Nottingham arena hosts a variety of excellent events. The City ground can occasionally provide a good football match.

Where is the best place to eat, go to a gig or buy clothes?

Southbank is my favourite bar, half price food for students and a great selection of drinks make it the perfect place to socialise. Rock city is historically a great music venue. Nottingham is excellent for shopping, the into Victoria Centre and multiple highstreets provide a good variety of clothing stores.

Where is a good place to live as a student?

Throughout my years at NTU I have always lived in Radford. A small Tesco, great pub, cheap accommodation and short walk to university are some of the reasons I have never moved location.

Did you find it easy to make friends at NTU?

Yes. From day one everyone was friendly and within a week big friendship groups had been formed.

Where would you turn for support, advice, or guidance?

Friends. The people I have met at university would be the ones I’d go to for pretty much anything.

If you had a (non-academic) problem. Who would you talk to? What would you do?

Depending on the situation, this would vary. I would always turn to my friends but if they couldn’t solve it. I’m sure that I would have confidence in a lecturer being able to assist me.

What’s next for you after NTU?

A graduate scheme at NMCN. Starting work in June and plan on living in Nottingham for the foreseeable future.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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