Meet Mike Emery, the Associate Director of Construction here at Middlesbrough College.
Joining the Middlesbrough College team over 20 years ago after working in industry, Mike is an expert in his field and had a unique journey to his role today!
Mike told us: “I started my career as an apprentice electrician straight after school and moved away from home with my role at just 17 years old. After doing my time training, I became a supervisor at the age of 21 with the same employer I completed my apprenticeship with, A Anderson & Son. During my time as a supervisor, I worked on some fantastic industrial projects with companies like British Steel and ICI. One of the most notable projects I worked on was the build of the British Steel Teesside Universal Beam Mill.
“At 28, I began working offshore on an oil rig as a general foreman on the Judy Joanne project. After my time on the rig, I returned to Teesside to work as an electrical foreman at Ineos Acrylics chemical plant, where I stayed until 2003.”
Mike had an excellent history of working in industry before joining the College, which provided him with the skills needed to teach our students about industry after College and what careers can come from a successful apprenticeship.
Mike says: “I started my journey at Middlesbrough College in 2003 as an electrical installations lecturer and was promoted within my department after only 6 months in the role. Soon after this in 2006 I became the Quality Manager of the whole College, which was a lot different to what I had done before, but I enjoyed the challenged and it was nice to step out of my comfort zone and do something new.
“After this, I stepped into the role of Director of Employer Engagement, this lasted around a year until I started my current role of Associate Director of Construction. I have been in my role for around 8 years now and I still learn something new every day- no two days are the same here!”
Mike has made a brilliant impact on the construction department, and up-holds extremely high standards of both staff and students that teach or learn within his areas. All staff know Mike for his down to earth, funny nature and brilliant ability to get on the same level as his students, after all, he was once in their shoes.
Mike continues: “I am always working alongside my staff to overcome barriers, we’re all in it together and I think that it is an important mindset to have. I manage 40 members of staff, so sometimes the department can seem overwhelming, but everyone here works together to support each other and the students we teach.
“During my time at Middlesbrough College I have made some fantastic friends, notably working with my colleague and fellow Associate Director Dave Payne. I have worked alongside Dave since I started in 2003 and we have had some good times over the years, one of them being our dance duet at the College Christmas party in 2019, we still look back on the video and laugh about it now.
“My role is rewarding, and I love to see our students succeed. Whether they go on to an apprenticeship, higher level course or work – when they do well it makes all our hard work worth it. If you are thinking about applying for a role at Middlesbrough College, I would say if you have industry skills and experience, why not use them to help others? I would encourage others to follow in my footsteps, it is extremely rewarding!”