Young Project Manager and Young Student of the Year Competitions - Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Branch
The future of project management would appear to be in very safe hands, judging by the talent that was display at Elland Road Football Ground on 14 March. This was the venue for a celebratory final awards dinner to select the Young Project Manager and Young Student of the Year 2019.
This is the second year that the branch has staged both competitions. This year saw an increased number of entries and evidence that many of our local project managers and students have already amassed a wide range of experiences and developed many of the attributes of a successful project manager.
The competitions recognise rising talent – from those are currently studying project management theory and have had some early experience of putting that knowledge into practice during placements, through to those in the early stages of their project management career and are already making a difference to their projects, the companies and clients they work with.
Both competitions started back in September 2018 when local Corporate Members and Higher Education Institutions were asked to identify prospective applicants. January 2019 marked the deadline for the initial written submissions. Intensive marking and discussions by a judging panel finally managed to shortlist these down to the following finalists.
Young Project Manager Competition
Bradley Maidment – WYG Group
Matthew Hirst – Turner and Townsend
Jessica Brook – Yorkshire Building Society
Holly Duddell – Yorkshire Water Services
Young Student Competition
Arron Williams – Leeds Beckett University
Jessica Bailey – Leeds Beckett University
Lawrence Watkiss – Leeds Beckett University
The results from the written submissions were brought forward and accounted for up to 70% of the overall mark. The final 30% of marks were available on the night based on the presentations made by each finalist to an audience made up of representatives from a range of local corporate business and higher education institutions, in addition to APM representatives from both the local branch and headquarters.
The branch were particularly delighted to welcome Debbie Dore, CEO of the APM, who also give the keynote speech which focused on the challenges facing young project managers and the many ways in which the APM can provide support to people starting their career in the profession.
The finalists’ presentations covered a wide range of projects across a number of sectors both in the UK and abroad. These included construction work on an army training base in Kenya, managing data efficiently through APIs, stakeholder management in the renewable energy sector and the project management of a large scale communications strategy.
Hilary Pattison, Corporate Representative for the branch and one of the judges paid tribute to all the finalists.
“I know just how challenging it can be to stand in front of a large audience. However all the finalists demonstrated such passion for their subject matter and an ability to really analyse and learn from their experiences. There were also some very valuable insights into the many skills required by the project manager and examples of how these had been applied in real situations. The whole evening made me feel very optimistic about what the next generation will bring to the profession.”
Although the finalists made it extremely difficult for the judges, Matthew Hirst was announced as the overall winner of the Young Project Manager Competition for his work supporting infrastructure and facility improvement projects for Rolls-Royce.
Jessica Bailey was an equally worthy winner of the Young Student Competition for her analysis of the application of project management theory during her involvement in the Transforming Emergency Care Programme of an NHS Trust.
David Burton, Chair of the Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire branch, presented both winners with an Amazon voucher to the value of £150 plus free individual membership for a year of the APM. All finalists also received a lovely commemorative trophy and a certificate.
It was a wonderful celebration of young talent and the branch is already starting the planning for next year’s competition.
The branch would like to thank Richard Preston, Chair of the NW APM branch, for his work as a judge. They would also like to thank the WYG Group and 2020 Business for their sponsorship of the evening, which helped to make it such a success.