Trainee Quantity Surveyor
Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be in the job you are currently in?
I had been studying BSc Civil Engineering at Strathclyde University but was struggling to find motivation, as I could not see how the classes would be applied in the industry when the opportunity of Trainee QS arose with Morrison Construction. I applied for the job, was interviewed the following week and I was subsequently offered and accepted the job.
What attracted you to this area of work?
The opportunity to study while I work was what drove me towards this industry. I gain valuable experience out on site whilst still being able to progress academically.
In what ways were you encouraged or discouraged to pursue your chosen career? Please explain further.
I have always been encouraged by my parents to do something I enjoyed, regardless of what job it may be. I knew I was going to enjoy working in this industry due to the diversity of work available and the opportunities to further my development academically and experientially.
Did you encounter any barriers trying to pursue your chosen career along the way?
No, not really, though surprisingly some people can still be taken aback to see a female on site. That passes quickly when they realise that I am just as capable as anyone is in my position.
Have you had to make any compromises to do so?
I’ve had to give up wearing my high heels to work!
What subjects did you study at school/college/university?
Mainly technical based subjects. Maths, Physics, Tech Studies, Product Design and Graph Communication. I also, however, took higher English and intermediate 2 music ensure I demonstrated a good range of abilities.
What attracted you to taking those subjects?
I took Maths and Physics as I enjoyed the logic in the classes and work well when questions are answered through various steps. I took higher English for entry into university more than anything; I did not particularly enjoy it, as I was reluctant to read literature in my 5th year at school.
Finally, in general why do you think less girls and young women study science, engineering and technology subjects?
Education of what jobs are actually available in construction is poor – I didn’t even know a Quantity Surveyor existed when I was making my career choice in 6th year at school! Its not just joiners and bricklayers in construction, there are a multitude of different options.