Caridad Marin Mollinedo explains why swapping architecture for surveying wasn’t such a big deal

In Seville you worked as a technical architect. What made you change to building surveying?

I haven’t actually changed my career, just changed job title. Before I came here, I worked for the Consejo General de la Arquitectura Técnica de España (Spain’s national institute for technical architects). The work I do at Property Tectonics, a Hertfordshire-based specialist surveyor, as a building surveyor is actually the same as I would do as a technical architect in Spain. My job includes supporting members of the team with drawing and design work, project management, conducting measured building surveys, inspecting sites, preparing tenders and researching projects.

Is the qualification process to become a technical architect in Spain the same as to become a building surveyor in the UK?

In Spain, once you have completed a three-year degree, you are qualified – there is no equivalent to the two-year APC qualification.

What made you want to come to the UK?

I have always loved going to new countries – in fact, it was travelling from an early age that set off my interest in different styles of architecture. And I have always loved England. My mother is an English teacher, so I came here quite often when I was younger. Between the ages of 11 and 14, I spent my summers at English language camps in Derby and Nottingham. Once I graduated from Seville University, I wanted to come back to gain valuable experience and to improve my English.

How did you end up getting a job in Hertfordshire?

My contacts in the Consejo General got in touch with Property Tectonics’ managing director, Trevor Mole, who is president of the European Association of European Building Surveyors and Construction Experts (AEEBC), of which the Consejo General is a member.

What were your initial impressions of England?

Well, Nottingham and Derby are both very different to Seville! I remember feeling a little bit lost because the buildings are so low rise. I think that is one of the main differences between the built environment in Spain and the UK. In Spain, there is far more apartment living, so the buildings tend to be taller.

How long do you expect to be working in the UK?

I’m six months into a one-year contract, but it’s very flexible, and I’m having a good time!

Caridad Marin Mollinedo

Age 24
Employment history Currently working for surveying company Property Tectonics. After graduating in 2003, worked for the National Institute of Technical Architects in Spain and was a member of the organising committee for Contart’2003, a national convention for technical architects that was held in Spain last November
Qualifications Degree in technical architecture from Seville University
Lives St Albans, Hertfordshire
Hobbies Travelling, reading and socialising