"I’ve only been at Gleeds for 17 weeks and I’ve already learnt more here than during my 2 years at university"
Jamie Kutner, Trainee Quantity Surveyor, is on his industrial placement at Gleeds. He will spend 1 year on a structured programme working with Gleeds’ cost management team in the hotel, education, and residential sectors before returning to Westminster University to complete his 4-year course in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management.
What made you decide to take a year out of university to do an industrial placement?
Although a placement year wasn’t compulsory on my course, it’s something I’ve always been very interested in. So when Gleeds offered me the opportunity, I was really chuffed!
I’ve only been at Gleeds for 17 weeks and I’ve already learnt more here than during my 2 years at university. The thing I’ve appreciated most so far has been getting hands-on, practical experience of what the real working world is like. It’s also been great to put things I’ve learnt at university into practice. I’m looking forward to going back next year with a more developed skill set.
Why a career in the construction?
I decided quite early on I wanted to be a Surveyor because it ticked all the right boxes for me. It was an environment I quickly felt comfortable in after my work experience at a project management firm. I really like the ‘problem solving’ approach that everybody adopts, nothing is ever impossible. This appealed to me because I enjoy tasks that involve analysing information and creating solutions.
The truly great thing about working in the construction industry is being a valued member of a team and creating a product for lots of people to see and use. One day I hope to drive past a building and know that I helped build it.
What does a typical working week look like?
My week is very varied because I’m never in one place. You may find me in the office, attending client meetings or down on site. Typically my week would involve using a platform called CostX - a construction measurement and estimating software - which can be used to make pre-formatted cost plans. I will also spend time inputting data into valuations such as building area schedules. In the near future, I’ll be involved in calling clients to help win new work.
What do you tell your friends about work on a Friday evening?
Gleeds has a great social scene, particularly through the Gleeds Property Network committee who organise internal and client events, as well as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) lectures – there always seems to be something going on. I’d also say it’s amazing how much you can learn simply by listening in on peoples conversations and asking questions. Everyone is very happy to listen and help you understand, so it’s pretty great.
What advice would you give to somebody trying to get into the industry?
Be yourself, be polite, be professional and pull on skills from all your past experience because all of it is relevant. Also make sure you invest time into your application and research the company thoroughly to understand what makes it different from its competitors.
Trainee Quantity Surveyor