Burning Ambition Brings International Success – Jamie Crum

With a Master’s Degree, great new job and a seasons pass to see his beloved football team, Manchester United play at home, former Cromwell College student Jamie Crum has got it going on.

Jamie(24) recently completed his International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering in Edinburgh, Scotland. The programme is run by three universities, Jamie said, which allowed him to study in Belgium and Sweden too, all paid for through a scholarship.

And all this from a student who described himself as being “pretty clueless” about what he wanted to do after high school, aside from knowing he wanted to go to university.

“Whatever you do it’s pretty unlikely you’ll know exactly what you want at 17 or 18 years of age. I went for engineering and went straight to Canterbury University after school and did a four year civil engineering degree.”

He then accepted a scholarship offer to study fire engineering in Europe for two years, something he knew would not only be a great experience but a door-opener to an international career.

“I met hundreds of interesting people through the European university exchange system. Making friends was like shooting fish in a barrel and the lecturers have been outstanding mentors.”

Belgian beer, Swedish vodka and Scottish whiskey rated fairly high as new interests gained and a newly-found love of travel has taken him all over Europe.

Jamie did all his schooling in Cromwell, leaving the college in 2012 and while family were a big influence, he said the encouragement he received at college was key.

“My family identified me as a potential engineer at about 4 years old but Tony Streeter was the biggest help at school, he was an absolute legend. Taking initiative and asking leaders in industry for advice was massively helpful, probably the best thing I did.”

The introduction of the college’s own sponsorship programme was a “masterstroke”, Jamie said.

“Cash incentives definitely got me and my classmates more interested in good school results.”

He reckons having ambition and clear goals is key for anyone and gaining scholarships or other opportunities was not as hard as many people thought.

“Don’t think going to a small school means you can’t compete with people from private schools or overseas. The winners of these things are just normal people who made a good plan then pulled it off.”

He says he enjoyed his time at the college and his European friends can’t believe it when he tells him snowboarding was part of his NCEA study every week.

Jamie starts his new job in Manchester as a graduate fire engineer in spring. He is happy to share advice and information about his career that might be helpful for current students. Contact Jamie via email:  jamiecrum123@gmail.com




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