Asher joined the Mace Apprentice Scheme in 2016 to get hands-on experience while studying part-time for a sponsored degree in quantity surveying. With his aspirations set on becoming a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Asher is taking full advantage of all the training, support and mentorship on offer to him.
What’s great about the apprentice scheme?
The experience. The training. The people. It’s just a really great way to start a career. Mace are sponsoring my degree, so I’ll come out of uni with no debt and I’m paid a salary to get hands on experience at the same time. There are 10 other quantity surveyors in this year’s group and we all go to uni together, work together and socialise together. The Board get involved too. It shows they must really care about our careers.
What does your role involve?
My day always starts with a meeting with my line manager and then whatever I’m working on can be pretty varied. I can be quantifying works, managing the contract or working on final accounts and I can be across multiple projects.
Once a week I go to uni, plus I have regular additional training at Mace. It can be classroom based but we often get out on site which really helps to explain the practicalities of what we’re learning.
What has been your proudest achievement since joining Mace?
The work I did on the London Stadium. I was part of the team that delivered the seating works for the World Championships 2017. Mace transformed the stadium from a football ground into an athletics stage and, not only did I learn a huge amount, I get to say that I was part of making Usain Bolt’s last race happen… sort of!
How did you become interested in quantity surveying?
I’ve always had an interest in buildings, and studying geography at ‘A’ Level helped to expand my interest in architecture and learn how construction projects can help to shape the future. I also studied maths so everything went hand-in-hand with quantity surveying.
Did you consider any other careers?
When I was at school I wanted to be a graphic designer but there weren’t many apprentice schemes and I was put off by the possibility of struggling to get a job one day. I was lucky to be offered a few different schemes but chose Mace because the course really interested me and it was offering the full degree over five years, plus the support and experience needed to achieve RICS chartership after my degree. I also got to meet some past Mace students and they really sold it to me.
What do the next 10 years hold?
I hope that I’ll become chartered in that time and I’ll definitely stay in construction. The sort of things that I’m learning really help to give a strategic overview of the whole business. Many of the senior teams at Mace have started out as quantity surveyors so there are loads of options for the future. I’d like to work abroad at some point - it’s on my bucket list although I’m not sure where I’d move to. It would depend on the opportunities and the climate of course.