Based in our Matlock office, Louise is currently studying her Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management BSc (Hons) while balancing her work as a trainee quantity surveyor. She is one of 17 who are currently undertaking academic training courses in Concertus. We recently sat down with her to learn more.
Why did you choose quantity surveying as a career? And why did you decide to study for your qualifications whilst working at Concertus?
I was first introduced to construction after accepting an offer to work as a procurement buyer, this allowed me the opportunity to explore the different roles of construction and the complexity of quantity surveying always appealed to me. Quantity surveying requires an in-depth understanding of the complete construction cycle, as well as the ability to analyse and maintain the financial aspect of a project. I always strive to enhance my skills and knowledge as much as I can and enjoy working with numbers, so when I had the opportunity to transfer to Concertus from Derbyshire County Council as a trainee quantity surveyor, I was delighted and excited to take on the challenge. The fact that Concertus enabled me to study for a degree is an added bonus and allows me to gain the knowledge I need to succeed in the role.
How do you balance your day-to-day work and studies?
The first thing I learned to do was use my time wisely. I look to dedicate at least six hours a week outside of work for studies to ensure I stay on track; I also try and ensure that I am aware of my limits and communicate with my line manager should I need guidance or more time to complete tasks. I feel like I have gotten myself into a great routine, where I can complete work to a high standard, and concentrate on my studies – all while getting enough rest to ensure I do not burn myself out. Concertus are great at offering a balance between the two and are really supportive, I’m able to have dedicated study days that really help, and because I am surrounded by people who have taken a similar path, there is always someone to lean on for advice if needed.
What does a typical day for a quantity surveyor look like?
Our main job is to ensure our clients get the best value for their money. So, a typical day for me includes recording costs taking place on a job and looking to the future to put a monetary value on the work taking place. I spend my time producing summaries showing monies coming in and going out on several simultaneous projects – now, for example, I’m working on three separate projects – which has its challenges but is something I thrive off of. I also have to monitor ongoing risks and report anything that is likely to affect profitability. All of this information then has to be given to our clients, so I have to keep a continuous line of communication with them to ensure the job remains profitable.
What parts of your role do you most enjoy?
I love diving deep into financial budgets involved within a construction project and analysing all the data and information to see where I can secure savings for clients. Being able to save our clients’ money and being able to see the customer satisfaction that comes with it, is a big motivator for me and incredibly gratifying. I also enjoy measuring quantities on site to then compare to the Bill of Quantities and highlight any discrepancies. One of the main aspects I enjoy working in construction is being able to see the final product of the designs come to life, especially after all the hard work that has been put into a project by various team members to reach the end of the project.
For more information on Apprenticeship + Graduates opportunities across The Vertas Group, visit our dedicated page highlighting all the possible paths available to you.