Mace - Quantity Surveying Apprentice - Daniel VincentPosted: 13th of April 2017 by
What do you like about working in the construction industry?
- Construction is an ever changing industry bringing different challenges to the job which is important for development and maintaining an enthusiastic approach to work. In addition, construction is a sustainable industry. The turnover of work in my two years at Mace has been immense with projects of varying scales in differing sectors meaning the job is never dull.
What led you to join Mace?
- My father has worked in the construction industry for 25 years and has spoken highly of it, especially the people at Mace Winchester who he had worked alongside on projects with. I wasn’t sure what line of work I wanted to get into and when the opportunity to join Mace as a trainee arose, it excited me that I was able to join a thriving industry with a great chance of developing a career together with an ambitious and knowledgeable group of people. It has lived up to every expectation and more.
How has your career progressed since joining Mace? What responsibilities have you held? What project/s have you worked on? What opportunities have you had?
- My career has progressed significantly since joining Mace Winchester in early 2015. Starting out with not a great deal of knowledge of construction, I was immediately thrown into the deep end working on projects alongside senior figures who helped me massively in my development in the early stages. This stood me in good stead of what was to come, working in the fast paced nature of the retail sector for B&Q. With my progression, I was given increasing responsibility culminating in the sole running of the B&Q closure programme of which there were over 60 stores throughout the country. It has enabled me to gain valuable experience of communicating with clients and contractors at every stage of the project to help maintain a smooth process and overcoming any problems in an efficient manner. With the closure programme now complete, I have now moved onto helping with cost planning for a mixed use development in the centre of Southampton. It is another great opportunity for me to develop my skills and knowledge on a much larger scheme.
What kind of support have you had? Have you attended any significant training/programmes, if so, tell us about them and how they have impacted your career?
- The support from my colleagues has been brilliant from my first day at Mace Winchester, always willing to help my development and take the time to help/teach me along the way especially with my university studies. Although it is a long way off at this stage in my career, I have sat in on the monthly APC sessions to further my understanding of the intricacies of the job and the overall role of a quantity surveyor and what is expected.
Tell us what you enjoy most about your current role at Mace.
- I enjoy the variety that the job brings. Having been here for two years I have worked on a number of exciting projects at every stage of the construction process with long term clients, differing from Retail (B&Q) to Education (Southampton University). Being able to visit sites and see the evolution of the project you are working on first hand is very rewarding and gives a sense of pride in what we do.
Tell us about your favourite piece of work/proudest achievement at Mace. What was your involvement? Why is it your favourite piece of work?
- My proudest achievement at Mace was being the lead on the successful B&Q closure programme with the shutting of over 60 stores throughout the country from contract to final account. It was a fast paced scheme with many challenges along the way resulting in an overall saving of £5m from the original project budget. Being given this amount of responsibility in such an early stage of my career boosted my confidence and made me immensely proud of what was achieved.
What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- To be a good quantity surveyor, being able to work as part of a team and decent communication skills are important. There is a lot of information to absorb when beginning the job so a hunger and desire to learn and progress will help massively in your personal development.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do? What is the best route? What do they need to do?
- My advice to anyone looking at getting into Construction, specifically Quantity Surveying, would be to take the opportunity when you can. It is a great way to develop a career in a forward thinking industry. Personally, an apprenticeship is the perfect way to get started as you are learning and earning at the same time, meeting new people and gaining vital experience that wouldn’t be possible in full time education.
What do you think are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship as opposed to going to university?
- The benefits of an apprenticeship over going to university are vast as you are gaining valuable experience of the job whilst working towards a degree to which you will have a much clearer understanding of what is required. Once the degree is completed, you will be in a far better position than most of the graduates leaving university having gained several years, hands on experience with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the job. Furthermore, you will be earning a good wage whilst not having to suffer huge debts like the majority of people after finishing their degree.
What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years? Why?
- In the next 5-10 years I would like to have attained my degree and gained membership to the RICS. In addition, I would like to have progressed through the ranks at Mace in a more senior role and help the next trainees/apprentices to achieve the same.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? Or, what are you passionate about outside of work?
- Outside of work, my main interests are sport and music. Football is my biggest passion, playing at least twice a week and having a season ticket to watch the mighty Southampton. I have also played the drums for the last 13 years which has been immensely enjoyable and a great hobby to have.
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