With so many students leaving university without a clearly defined career path, five young F+G QSs argue early decisions shouldn’t restrict future career

Tom Barnett

Barnett, 21, became interested in a career in project and cost management when consultant Faithful+Gould gave a presentation at his university. He now works in the Bristol office as a trainee building surveyor.

He said: “I always wanted to pursue a career in the construction industry and decided to study Building Surveying as I thought it would give me a direct route into the industry. However, there are individuals from a variety of backgrounds working in the office and F+G provides training to ensure everyone has the same knowledge regardless of the degree they studied.

“My degree has been useful in helping me understand aspects of the job but there is always scope to train further and learn more skills. My job gives me the opportunity to work on large, prestigious contracts whilst completing my APC on a structured training programme.”

Lucy Grey

Grey, 24, a trainee project manager in F+G’s Bristol office, wanted to keep her options open and decided to study Sport Science BSc followed by Sport Psychology MSc.

She joined the company as a temp but her talent and enthusiasm for the job was quickly noticed and she was offered a permanent position. Having decided to pursue a career in project management she has been given the opportunity to undertake specialist training in order to progress her career and is now undertaking a Construction Project Management MSc on day release at university.

Grey said: “When I was a temp I was offered advice on the routes I could take within the industry and once I had decided on my future I was helped to find the appropriate course to gain practical knowledge. I do not feel that my degree subject has disadvantaged me as F+G focuses on potential rather than specific qualifications. I would advise others in my position that it is enthusiasm and willingness to learn which helps secure a successful career and a supportive employer will offer training to those identified as having that potential.”

Matt Price

Price, 30, joined F+G's Reading office in 2006 following a successful career at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. After five years with Enterprise, Price realised he had reached a crossroads in his career and wanted a new challenge.

Having always been interested in architecture and surveying he decided to study a Building Surveying MSc. He joined the company as a graduate building surveyor and now works on a variety of projects on a local, national and international scale.

Price said: “A change in career direction is always a nerve-wracking decision. However, the transition has been made easier by a supportive team at work. By working closely with more experienced colleagues I have been able to progress more quickly and work on more varied and complicated projects.”

Ben Edmeads

Edmeads, 25, joined the consultant's Exeter office as an assistant quantity surveyor in 2006. He is currently studying Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management BSc through distance learning.

He said: “By completing a degree in my spare time I can increase my knowledge whilst building experience and developing skills on the job. The company has been supportive about my decision and gives me time to attend courses and prepare for exams. My line manager is always happy to assist with my coursework and is committed to my development.”

Oliver Smith

Smith, 20, is currently spending a year in the Bristol office as part of his degree in Building Surveying.

He said: “F+G offered me a structured scheme which allows me to take on my own roles and responsibilities within the company. I believe that undertaking a placement year is extremely beneficial. Gaining practical experience has reinforced what I have learnt at University and given me the opportunity to put my knowledge into practice.

“My role is extremely varied. If I’m in the office I spend my time producing tender documents, drawing or modifying plans and report writing. I also get to complete site visits, undertake measured surveys and meet with clients and contractors. My experience with Faithful+Gould has confirmed my desire to pursue a career within the construction industry.”