How our placement students are helping UC Build

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How our placement students are helping UC Build

We interviewed Neil Hennessey, a Director of UC Build, to learn more about his experience working with our placement students in Quantity Surveying and Construction Project Management.

Tell us about your business

Launched in 2015, UC Build is a commercial construction specialist that delivers a variety of projects across the whole construction spectrum. These include new builds, fit outs and full refurbishments, predominantly in the retail, commercial and logistics sectors.

We are an SME with a large company mentality and as a business we are committed to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) leading environmental policies and becoming carbon net zero.


Why did you recruit students from Sheffield Hallam? 

Having been a student myself at Sheffield Hallam who did a sandwich placement, I have first hand experience of the value they give both to the student who gets hands-on experience, and the business who can deliver on its projects with new talent. 

Work placements are also part of our early careers pipeline we are creating in partnership with Sheffield Hallam, and want to support our future employees who come through this path on their journey with us.

What are the benefits of recruiting students?

It offers an opportunity for us to access students over a 12-month period in line with our business working practices, to ensure we can attract graduates who will already be familiar with our systems and processes. We are strong advocates of future proofing the business with the best talent available.

What would you say to other businesses considering recruiting a placement student?

Embrace the opportunity to train the next generation of construction professionals, as they will be the lifeblood of the industry and potentially your business.

Have you recruited students from Sheffield Hallam University before? How did you hear about our offer?

Yes we have, I undertook a year out placement when I studied at Sheffield Hallam and being an alumni has provided that ongoing connection. Also, the business support offered by the University has been great for us as an SME, as we have been assisted with recruiting placement students, and also connected with other areas of the organisation we weren’t aware of.


This placement has been a great experience so far, not just from an academic perspective but also because you gain experience with all parts of the job such as gathering quotations to later add to a cost analysis and ultimately produce and send purchase orders, to working with subcontractors. These are all areas that I studied on the course, but everything starts to make more sense during the placement in terms of how it all connects together. Doing a placement also benefits you in other ways, such as boosting your confidence to approach others working in the field you hope to enter after graduation. The placement programme emphasises both professional development and personal growth. To anyone interested in taking a course connected to construction, I would highly advise undertaking a placement.

Niall Harris, third year BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying student at UC Build

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