Alexander Langan, Trainee Quantity Surveyor, shares his experience of working at calfordseaden on a placement year.
calfordseaden is dedicated to supporting the next generation in construction. Through our strong relationships with colleges and universities, we can continue to support individuals like Alexander with opportunities to learn and grow. Read on to find out more.
I am currently working at calfordseaden on a placement year as part of my degree in Quantity Surveying at Northumbria University. I chose calfordseaden because of the wide range of clients and projects and the opportunity to be exposed to an extensive knowledge pool.
At the moment, I am working on six projects and I get to liaise with many people, from project managers, directors, architects and other consultants, which is great for building new contacts. Since joining, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of regeneration schemes, including land based, section 106 agreements and JCT design and build contracts.
The brilliant thing about being in a consultancy is that you can explore the different contracts which you can work on. At University, we were primarily taught about JCT contracts. However, since joining calfordseaden, I have developed a good breadth of knowledge of the various types of schemes and different routes available to me.
As a Quantity Surveyor, my role is mainly to go out and value the works during the construction phase. Our team also does a lot of cost planning for major regeneration schemes. The Senior Surveyors have been really helpful in supporting me with the various software and processes. There is such strong transparency between the teams across all services which makes it a truly collaborative working environment.
I knew that I wanted a career in construction from the age of 12, when I worked with my Dad at his construction company during holidays and weekends. I learned how to build a house from the ground up and now, with my degree and experience at calfordseaden, I have been able to broaden my knowledge and put my new skills into practice. I have a passion for the industry as a whole because what you do day to day makes such a difference to lives and infrastructure.
My advice for students and graduates who are considering a career in construction is to go for it and give it a try. The great thing about training with calfordseaden is they are very flexible. There are so many different options from apprenticeships, work experience, placements and more. Skills wise, aside from the obvious main skill of being good with numbers, it is also important to be a good communicator, understand the bigger picture, and work well in a team.