Moving up, not moving on
Hi Ian, what’s your job at Arc Partnership?
For the last year or so, I’ve been a trainee quantity surveyor. Before that I was an electrical estimator. I was part of the original Arc team, so I’ve been here nearly two years now.
Can you tell us a bit about your career before you came here?
I went to college to do electrical engineering, and after that an apprenticeship. It was a great way to get experience, helping on major projects at places like Centre Parcs and the Emirates Football Stadium. I was self employed for a while after I qualified, working on projects like Royal Derby and Kingsmill hospitals, then I got a few weeks’ work at Nottinghamshire County Council. Seven years later I was still there!
It sounds like you’ve always worked in this area. Are you from Nottingham?
I’m from Sandiacre, about half way between Nottingham and Derby. Before I took this role, I’d spotted a job up towards Sheffield. The distance was a downside, but I thought I needed to move if I wanted to progress. Turns out, I didn’t at all. I told my managers at Arc what I was thinking and they offered me the opportunity to train up here. It was an easy choice – this job’s a lot more local and I like the team. Now I’m moving up without having to move away.
So what attracted you to training as a quantity surveyor?
My managers said that was the direction they’d like to take me in, and I’m really enjoying it. They wanted to steer the business into more construction management, so having a strong QS team was going to be important.
What’s different about your work, day to day?
It’s more about cost management across whole projects now, so it’s a far broader role, analysing how that affects the wider business. I like learning about the fabric of a building and the way it’s constructed from the foundations up. It’s a change from focusing purely on electrical costs, which I’ve done for the last 15 or 20 years.
And what’s it like being a student again?
It’s really interesting. I’m studying for a BSc in quantity surveying, which is a five-year part-time degree. I started at Nottingham Trent University last September, and I spend every Thursday there. Managing your time is a bit of a challenge – but it’s worth it.
Are you getting plenty of support from the Arc team?
They’ve been really good actually. When we have team meetings they ask me what I’ve been studying so they can give me any help I need. They’ll always try to put me on projects where I can get hands-on experience of the things I’ve been learning, which really helps.
Do you think you’ll keep studying once you get your degree?
Well it’s a five-year course, so I might be ready for a break by then! But we’ll see. It depends what direction Arc wants to take and what they need from me. I’d quite like to go for RICS accreditation, but we’ll see how I feel in 2022!
Look out for more trainee stories here on our news page soon.