Case study

Graduate commercial surveyor — Jagdip

Jagdip's graduate placement increased his confidence and helped strengthen his job applications…

How did you get your job?

During the last few months of university, I applied for a graduate placement and was selected to work as an assistant quantity surveyor for three months in a small construction company in Seville, in Spain. This taught me a lot about the role and I became much more confident after living in, and adapting to, a completely new environment. While on placement, I applied for several graduate roles in the UK and got selected for a number of interviews, one of which was with the Berkeley group.

What was the application/recruitment process like?

The initial application was fairly long and in-depth. I researched the company thoroughly to compile the best application I could. The initial interview was with a senior commercial managing director (MD) and I was then invited to a second interview with the commercial project director for the scheme to which I had been assigned. This interview was more in-depth but I was well prepared and made every attempt to show my desire and can-do attitude. Shortly after, I got a formal offer from the company, which I accepted

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My degree has certainly given me the background knowledge and a platform to develop my skills as a commercial surveyor. Without it I believe it would have been difficult to get to grips with my role quickly.

What are your main work activities?

I am working as part of the commercial team responsible for the successful delivery and full cost management of a new residential and commercial construction development in central London. My day to day operations include: actively tendering for the most suitable contractors to assign multi-million pound work packages; raising and issuing PSI's (project specific instructions) for contractors to commence work on site; authorising payments for contractors against work completed; ensuring the implementation of the company's own standard form of contract, the call-off contract; reconciliation of budgets in accordance with project stages; and tracking any commercial changes or implications.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

My career ambition is to rise within the company up to senior management, namely director of commercial. I am also starting my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to become chartered. Eventually I would like to have considerable property portfolio as that is something that has always appealed to me.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like the fact that my work has a considerable impact on a development. I enjoy the variety of things I can be involved with and people I meet every day. Being part of a hard-working team and achieving goals together is very satisfying.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The technical aspect of construction can be difficult to understand and is vast, but it is something I enjoy learning about.

Any advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

Quantity surveying is a great career path to go into if you like construction and are interested in cost management. I would advise people to work hard at university and gain industry experience where possible. I would also add the importance of maintaining contact with professionals from the industry as contacts can be helpful when looking for jobs. Finally, if you have the chance of doing something which would set you apart from the competition such as a placement abroad then I would strongly advise you to take it.

Find out more

See what opportunities are available at the Berkeley Group.