Meet the Brighton graduate behind the Big Build

A Brighton graduate is playing an instrumental role in delivering a major component of the University’s Moulsecoomb campus development.

Clayton Parsons, who graduated in Project Management for Construction in 2014, is Envelope and External Works Manager for the Big Build, part of his wider position as a Site Manager at major construction company Bouygues UK.

Bouygues UK is delivering student accommodation, Students’ Union and fitness facilities, which will be completed in 2021 for development partner Uliving.

After undertaking a placement year at Bouygues during his time at the University, Clayton joined the company’s graduate scheme and then became a full-time employee. He has since worked on a number of large-scale developments.

In a reversal of roles, Clayton was part of the interview panel recruiting Project Management for Construction students at Brighton to act as assistant managers on a placement at Bouygues UK.

Clayton said it was a “strange experience” to be an employer hiring students from his former University, and that the questions he asked them in the interview were “based on my own experience of the course”.

Of his time at Brighton, Clayton said: “I have fond memories of the University. It was a nice place to be and I had a good time studying. My course was eye-opening – you don’t realise how much of it you can use until you actually start working in the industry.”

Clayton added that the “practical” nature of the degree had helped him in his career so far. “You learn to manage a process in your time at University, you learn the theory of project management,” he said. “You learn how to do things right, and good leadership is doing the right thing. By virtue of learning the first part, you then go out in the world and learn the second part.”

There is an “endless list of positives” in working for a global construction company like Bouygues, according to Clayton.

He said: “They employ 130,000 people across 90 countries, so the opportunity for international mobility is always there – you can always experience something new and meet new people, and that knowledge base is there when you need it.”

Bouygues UK is one of the country’s leading construction companies. Through its construction teams and its development businesses known as Linkcity and Uliving, Bouygues UK operates across the North, Midlands, South West and Wales as well as London and the South East, and is behind some of the UK’s most significant projects.

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