Alumnus of the Month: July 2022
Adrian Cobb left Verulam School in 1977 and is now Regional Director for Dodd Group (Eastern) Limited, an electrical and mechanical services contracting business.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get into this role?
I left Verulam in 1977 when my parents moved the family to Norfolk for a better work/life balance. At that time, I felt that I wanted to pursue further education and a career through a vocational route. I started as a craft electrical apprentice, qualified as an electrician and since then have followed both a technical and commercial route in the building services MEP sector of the construction industry to reach the position that I have now. This is a position that I have held for the past twenty years working for this family owned business that has coverage across the UK. In East Anglia, we enjoy long term business relations in a number of sectors but primarily Defence.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
Family has to come first and I am very fortunate in this respect including welcoming a steady flow of grand children to the world.
Workwise, initially achieving technical success. Over the past twenty years, the satisfaction has been in developing a strong sustainable regional business that has family values and is agile to cope with the future demands of a changing industry. Modern methods of construction and renewable energy sources are at the forefront of the change.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
We have an apprentice intake scheme within our business. For many years now, I have informed the new intake that they should grab hold of every opportunity that comes along because it will all add up to excellent all round experience. This industry is extremely diverse and changing rapidly for the next generation with modern methods of construction evolving. Every day is a learning day and the diverse range of people encountered make each day interesting. You will never get bored in this industry.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
What I have learned to appreciate from the school is the culture of learning, discipline and caring for those around me. Attending school through teenage years is not always easy but the culture at the school was supportive and encouraging whilst providing a disciplined environment.
In life, if you are receptive to learning, care about those around you and approach tasks in a disciplined manner then you will succeed. Therefore, the culture at Verulam School is set to create success in life.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories?
I was in Hamilton.
Fondest memory. I pondered over this question for some time, days in fact! I have many memories from the school but the fondest would have to be the wearing my new full school uniform on my first day. My late Mum was proud of her son attending the ‘Grammar School for boys’ as it was then and she walked me into school with her head held high. It makes me proud to think back to those days and so I guess that is my fondest memory, being proud of my school.
I will reach 60 years of age in January of 2022 and so retirement from full time employment is on the horizon. I am busy formulating a plan that will keep me fully engaged whereby I can continue to contribute to the business that I enjoy whilst engaging in more leisure activities and charitable activities along the way. Oh, and continue to learn….
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re and alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.