The industry includes an impressive range and variety of roles – but unless you are on the inside it can be hard to know how to break in, let alone progress to the top. In this  series, we talk to professionals about their often surprising career twists and turns

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Milind Page_ Surveyor Rund

Milind Page is a surveyor at Rund

How long have you been working and what is your current job?

I joined Rund a little over a year ago as an assistant surveyor and have recently been promoted to surveyor, based in the Birmingham office. Before this, I was working in India, but have always admired the UK and other European countries for their world-renowned buildings and exemplary standards.

As a surveyor/quantity surveyor at Rund my job involves managing all aspects of cost and procurement for construction projects. 

What were your initial career ambitions? (Would your 16-year-old self be surprised at what you’re doing now?)

As a child I had a fascination with buildings and would like to watch documentaries about mega structures. I was in awe of them – so it was always the plan to work in the construction industry.

Who or what helped you to get to where you are today?

I have always pushed myself to succeed so I am pleased with myself for persevering to get to where I am today. My family and wife have always supported me too and I am very thankful for this.

I would also like to make special mention of the teachings of philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurthi, which have helped me in my career and life journey.

Did your choice of subjects/qualifications in school/education help or hinder your ability to get a job in the sector?

As I knew from a young age what I wanted to do, fortunately I was able to pick subjects with my goal in mind. I was good at mathematics, and I also used to practise a lot of aptitude tests to help prepare me for a career in construction. I then studied Civil Engineering for my bachelor’s degree.

Have you had to overcome any barriers to get where you are today?

My comfort zone was the biggest barrier I have overcome to get to where I am today. It was not easy leaving India to pursue my dreams, but I knew, if I wanted to work on the types of buildings I aspired to work on – the ones I would watch on documentaries growing up – then I needed to take the plunge.

What are the best and the hardest parts of your job?

The best feeling is seeing a project through to completion. We are involved at every stage of the project lifecycle, ensuring the protection of client interests. So, when we do reach the end and the client is happy, it feels like an amazing accomplishment.

The hardest part of my job is managing the complex interplay between cost, quality and time constraints, while adhering to regulations and managing multiple stakeholders and client expectations. This can be challenging, however it makes my day-to-day work interesting.

What do you know now about the industry that you wish you had known when you were at school?

The construction industry is all about building relationships, and I wish I had known sooner just how important this would be. When you are in school, you are focused on your learning and technical abilities, but communication and collaboration are important skills.

As a new starter, what most surprised you about the industry?

As a new starter in the UK, I was surprised to see the amount of pre-contract work that goes into the project before it starts on site. I believe a thorough understanding and implementation of pre-contract work – like technical due diligence, initial cost advice, cost control and tendering processes – makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project.

What advice would you give someone coming through the school system now about choosing a construction-related career?

Take advantage of any opportunities that mean you can find out more or get some work experience. Try and talk to people already working in the industry and see if your school can help facilitate these conversations.

There are lots of roles and the possibilities for career growth can be infinite. The industry is also going to be around forever as we all need houses to live in, commercial buildings and infrastructure like roads and railways.

What one thing would you change to make it easier for someone to find the right career in the sector?

There should be more awareness days in schools where you can learn about careers in construction, and then more graduate/work experience schemes available. Companies should invest more in recruiting and developing young teams and I am proud that Rund offers this. We hold assessment days and offer valuable placements for students and recent graduates to kickstart their careers.

Any other advice/comments?

You can make a huge difference in people’s lives through a career in the built environment – so be proud to be a part of the sector.