Case study

Quantity surveyor — Adam Hewitt

Studying for a quantity surveying degree provided Adam with the core skills needed to be a quantity surveyor. Find out how his career is developing as he gains more experience in the role

How did you get your job?

I studied BSc Hons Quantity Surveying at Leeds Beckett University, graduating in 2018. I applied online for the job of quantity surveyor on JN Bentley's website, attended an assessment centre and was formally interviewed.

What's a typical working day like?

As a contractor's quantity surveyor, I work on a vast number of schemes within a framework environment. I follow a commercial calendar which dictates what I do day-to-day. For example, at the start of each month I'm required to run cost reports to apply for monies due, calculate margin and compile cost forecasts. At other times of the month, I'm pricing jobs or variations to jobs and managing the different aspects of the contract.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I most enjoy problem solving. Working in construction, there are a variety of problems which arise day-to-day, all of which need prompt attention to ensure that risks are mitigated and opportunities realised.

As a quantity surveyor, my main responsibility is to look after the money. The most job satisfaction for me comes from beating agreed targets, which generates better margins for my company and saves more money for the client.

What are the challenges?

Meeting key deadlines is a challenge. Working under the contract we must comply with agreed timescales, as well as working to internal deadlines. This can become stressful, especially when managing multiple projects at any one time.

Because of this, organisation is key. I keep an up-to-date diary/calendar in order to meet my deadlines. Although it can be difficult at times to stay on top of your work, delivering it well makes the stress worth it in the end.

How relevant is your degree?

My degree is specific to my job role, so it's extremely relevant. The course itself focused on the core skills required to be a quantity surveyor, and provided an appreciation of other professions within the industry, such as project management, architecture and building surveying.

This all-round approach has equipped me with a breadth of knowledge that I've been able to apply with confidence in the early stages of my career.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Having enrolled on my chartership course, I hope to be a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). I also hope to be working towards promotion to commercial management.

What are your top tips for any aspiring quantity surveyors?

  • Apply to graduate schemes when you're in your last year.
  • Work hard on your placements and try and secure a job with companies you complete placements with - they may even sponsor you to finish your degree.
  • Work hard once you're in the job and you'll develop quickly, which can result in faster progression. Ask for support if you need it.
  • Start your RICS course as soon as possible - if you don't start early, you probably never will.

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