LLM Construction LawSriram Venkatarao, India

Tell us a little bit about your background...
I come from Tamil Nadu, India and I did my Bachelor’s degree in Planning and Postgraduate degree in Infrastructure Finance. Further, I went on to work in the Middle East and Africa on some large-scale construction projects. On the other hand, I am a well-travelled individual and have visited more than seven countries, spanning three continents.

What inspired you to study your subject?
During my 8-year professional career in the construction industry, I worked both at site level and managerial positions on different projects and encountered numerous legal issues surrounding these projects and found that not a lot of professionals in the core industry are equipped with legal knowledge to handle these situations. That motivated me to delightfully take up this unique industry specific legal studies in construction domain.

Why did you choose to continue studying for your Masters at the University of Strathclyde?
Firstly, the reputation of the university and the law schools in the UK and around the world is excellent. Secondly, the course content outlined for LLM Construction Law is by far the latest and up to date, this I could confirm confidently, because of being a construction industry professional. Lastly, the post study demand and reception in the industry is promising.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde, so far?
It is the automated and highly integrated Andersonian library on campus, which offers a wide and comprehensive selection of books, journals, articles, research papers and magazines that has impressed me as a student. On the other hand, the in house online library search engine ‘SUPrimo’ has given me access to other law and research libraries, which has helped me to further hone my legal knowledge and of course on a lighter note, it saved me a lot on buying books. Lastly, I was surprised and delighted to experience firsthand the course content and teachings methods are very close to on-field and latest industry practices, this enabled me to put my newly acquired knowledge logically and in the right perspective.

How have you found studying online, in the current situation?
At first, I was a bit hesitant, but when I landed in Glasgow and started my course, it was smooth, and I never looked back. This is primarily due to the benevolent and understanding nature of both academic and support staff at the university. They always try to stay in touch and extend support both academically and beyond, which made the study a whole lot interesting and satisfying personally during these times.

What specialist knowledge and professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
As far as the LLM Construction Law is concerned, I have distinctly developed legal research skills, which helps me to track and acquire legal insights on various topics including case laws on the subject matter. Secondly, the clear understanding and the practical uses of various forms of construction contracts across the world both in legal terms and their applications.

What would be your advice for people considering taking this coursse?
I know many of the newcomers shall be hesitant, just the way I was at the beginning. However, the campus environment and the student centric approach the University of Strathclyde undertakes, coupled with a very supportive staff makes the whole experience studying here, worthwhile.

What have been the main challenges studying at postgraduate level?
Thankfully, there were no major challenges. However, at first, I found it difficult to adjust with the accent in general and the teaching style, but thankfully with the support from the university and local friends, I was able to overcome within a couple of weeks. Now, I am certainly enjoying the teaching style and I see it a positive step forward in being a global player.

How has your scholarship supported your studies?
The scholarship I received from the University of Strathclyde is ‘Dean’s International Excellence Award: Humanities and Social Sciences’, it was motivational and encouraging in nature. Secondly, the scholarship had helped me to release some of the financial pressures I was facing before taking up the course and I would like to thank the University of Strathclyde for that.

What do you think of the support available?
Both the academic and support staff are readily available to encourage and champion you in your academics and mentored me to gain immense confidence professionally for all my future endeavours.

What are your ambitions for the future?
With newly acquired and assertive knowledge in LLM Construction Law, I am aiming to re-enter the construction industry with greater confidence at a senior position and contribute to the success of the organization as a better decision maker. Furthermore, during the end of my professional career, I would like to enter teaching and transfer knowledge to the up-coming generation.