This time last year, I was an A Level student preparing for my exams and seriously considering what my future would hold beyond the Summer.
Building surveying was (and still is) my interest. I liked the idea of understanding the way the elements of a building work together and how to get the most out of them. It was slightly different from my original plans in psychology, sport and fashion, but something I wanted to pursue. Originally, I heard about it online and then did some work experience to make sure that I was ready to invest time into it. During these placements, I was introduced to the idea of apprenticeships.
University, the well trodden path, was the likely outcome for me – I'd received back all 5 of my UCAS offers and had already accepted a place at my favourite. However, in the months leading up to this point, I'd also been applying some apprenticeships too.
My plans were almost certain, until I was offered a degree apprenticeship with Faithful+Gould.
Yes, I did choose to let go of my first university place. In all honesty, it was very daunting. Yet, I am confident that accepting the job offer is one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Unfortunately, this meant that I missed out on fresher's week... But jokes aside, the benefit of gaining knowledge and experience from the start was more valuable to me as well as avoiding student debt.
Working in London's Building Surveying team is quite varied. I've been here for just about 6 months and have been involved in an array of projects, including a ground breaking heritage project.
A typical day could look like taking minutes at a meeting, drawing up proposed changes to elevations and floorplans, sometimes viewing sites from a cherry picker.
In the future, I'll be completing my degree in Building Surveying and eventually completing my APC to become a Chartered Surveyor.
Even though it is still early days, I am really happy with my progression, which I've learned is very much in your own hands. I have been fortunate to have found something that I really enjoy and to be supported fully as I grow professionally day by day.
The future is so exciting, I look forward to the upcoming challenges that will inevitably cultivate the skills I need to get to where I want to be.
Because of my experience, I feel obliged to spread the word about apprenticeships - I urge all potential apprentices reading this to really consider your options and do some research. There is so much to do within and outside of construction – and many pathways.
Furthermore, I encourage all professionals to be open about your experience. If you have the chance to inspire someone, use it. We all represent the industry and without sharing how worthwhile it is, many go without knowing of many specialisms. A simple conversation can be invaluable and open up a range of opportunities, it did for me.