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How A Five-Minute Chat Turned Into A Lifelong Career

When Mathew Morgan (26) was made redundant from his job in renewable energy five years ago, he was left with a niche degree, limited prospects within his chosen sector, a mortgage to pay and a wife to support.

The outlook was bleak. That was, until he attended an end of seasons award night with his local tennis club.

As a committee member, team captain and recent recipient of Young Volunteer of the Year in the Yorkshire Tennis Awards for his work with Mirfield Tennis Club, Mathew’s contribution and commitment had been recognised.

While buying the next round of drinks from the bar, he was approached by Marcus Walsh, Director at Martin Walsh Architectural (MWA) in Dewsbury.

Being aware of the situation that Mathew was faced with, but also his recent achievements outside of work, Marcus asked if he had ever considered a career in architecture.

With no qualifications or experience and not believing himself to be the most creative person, it didn’t seem like an obvious step for Mathew.

He comments: “It was tough. I didn’t know which way to turn. I had my qualifications and a job that I enjoyed. I wasn’t expecting to be made redundant and to be starting all over again. There weren’t any jobs, and my wife was studying to be a veterinary nurse, so I had to get something sorted and fast.

“When Marcus approached me, I have to admit, I hadn’t thought about architecture at all. I can’t draw and don’t consider myself to be very creative. It didn’t seem to me at that time to be an option.

“But Marcus saw beyond my current skills. Instead, he saw my personality, my work ethic, the transferable skills that I did have, my extra skills and knowledge that would add to the business and my desire to be the best I could be.”

As a result of that five-minute chat, Mathew was offered a position as Assistant Technician joining the practice in January 2017.

In addition to the position, MWA supported Mathew as he completed a degree at Leeds Beckett University, covering the fees and giving him day release throughout the four-year course.

Today, Mathew is a BSc Architectural Technology (First Class) and is continuing his career with MWA.

Mathew Morgan

Mathew has successfully achieved a BSc Architectural Technology (First Class)

He comments: “It wasn’t easy, financially things were a struggle, and I had to juggle studying in the evenings and at weekends with being a husband and a dad! It pushed me to my limits, but it was all worth it.

“I have been nominated for awards within the School of Build Environment, Engineering and Computing for my studies and am really proud of what I have achieved. I have been lucky enough to see several of my projects come to fruition. I have repeat clients at work and I am trusted.

“It’s hard to believe that all this came about thanks to a five-minute chat at a bar five years ago. I can’t wait to see what the next five have in store for me!”

Marcus Walsh comments: “Mathew is a classic example of someone that needed a break. I had seen his commitment to, and I was aware of how well liked he was generally. It was his personality that made me believe he had what it takes.

“Sometimes, it’s about looking beyond the qualifications and that is exactly what happened with Mathew. We are all so pleased that he has finally got the professional recognition he deserves with his First Class degree and look forward to celebrating many more successes throughout his career.”

“Sometimes, it’s about looking beyond the qualifications and that is exactly what happened with Mathew. We are all so pleased that he has finally got the professional recognition he deserves with his First Class degree and look forward to celebrating many more successes throughout his career.”

Marcus Walsh

Director