The quantity surveyor at consultant F+G in Leeds juggles a busy work schedule with her love for horses

I am 28 years old and have been working as a QS for Faithful+Gould in the Leeds office since 2008. I have a passion for equine sports and have one horse which I have to “muck out” and exercise daily before and after work. This means it’s not unusual for me to have a long working day. I generally get up around 4.45am and head to the stable before arriving at the office around 7am to go through my emails over breakfast.

As part of the F+G property team, I am responsible for pre and post contract services of quantity surveying on various projects. The work that I carry out entails cost estimating, preparing tender documents, tender appraisals, preparing contract documents, valuations, cost reporting and agreeing final accounts.

F+G has a strong education and graduate programme so I am currently mentoring a young trainee who is doing a part-time degree in quantity surveying. We also take on a student placement each year so that they can gain some on-the-job experience.    

I work on a number of projects but one of the most interesting at the moment is a £12m library refurbishment in York at the JB Morrell Library, which includes the removal of asbestos.

F+G has a strong education and graduate programme so I am currently mentoring a young trainee who is doing a part-time degree in quantity surveying

This has been a particularly challenging project as the building has had to remain open throughout the refurbishment. Due to this particular challenge, phasing plans had to be implemented which included book decanting. These moves needed to be carried out as efficiently as possible due to the operation of the library.

The majority of my clients are based in and around the York and Bradford areas. I visit sites when I am required to carry out valuations, cost meetings with a contractor’s quantity surveyor, site meetings and meetings with the client and/or contractor.

Site visits also allow me to have face-to-face time with the client which helps to build our working relationship. The rest of my time is spent in the office delivering pre and post contract quantity surveying services and supporting our Consult service division.

I have a masters in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution and as a result I became an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I have become more involved with the F+G Consult services division where the majority of my time is spent. My responsibilities include reviewing contractual documents and advising on contractual matters.

I really enjoy the challenges that come with being a QS. You have to work to the cost constraints set out at the beginning of the project and you get to collaborate with many design team members, but the best thing about my job is being involved in the project from inception to completion.

Working as a QS and for Consult, my knowledge has become more versatile which is a benefit to the services I carry out daily. My aspirations for the future are to increase my knowledge of construction law and to continually develop my expertise in quantity surveying.

Fortunately I have an employer that is flexible regarding work life balance. The advantage of starting work early in the morning means I can generally leave the office by 5pm to attend my horse. Thanks to F+G, I have a job that I love but I also have time to enjoy my passion. It’s a great mix!