My Story, by Trainee Quantity Surveyor Abbie Norton
I joined the Russell WBHO aged 18, after sixth form with A-Levels in English, Sociology and Religious Studies, on their Building Student programme.
I am currently enrolled on the Quantity Surveying BSc (Hons) Part Time degree apprenticeship at the University of Salford. As well as learning about the construction industry, I continue to develop my skills shadowing qualified quantity surveyors on site. Both the theoretical and hands on approach to my career has benefited me in acquiring the skills and qualities needed to become a well-rounded construction professional.
As well as graduating from university, my intention is to become RICS accredited, completing my Assessment of Professional Competence in the last two years of my degree course. Attaining five years’ work experience in the industry as well as completing a quantity surveying degree, allows me to stand out from other candidates. Not only do I complete my daily tasks in work, but I have the opportunity to attend careers fairs and local schools to promote degree apprenticeships to potential university students. As well, attending inspirational speaking events to encourage a higher percentage of females entering the construction industry.
Supported by Russell WBHO, I have incurred no tuition fees and my apprenticeship has allowed me to earn a wage, funding a car and eventually financing a property of my own. Qualifying whilst having already secured a job means I don’t need to worry about applying for graduate roles after university. Gaining both a qualification and experience at such a young age opens many doors to other opportunities if I do decide to pursue a different career path with the business. Establishing myself and career goals early has enabled me to learn the importance of seizing every opportunity that may arise.
One of the key benefits of the Russell WBHO Building Student programme has allowed me to gain experience in different construction disciplines within the company. It has given me a more educated view of the roles carried out by both commercial and operational employees, before making a decision of what type of career I’d like to pursue. Being unsure of my future at a young age, I appreciated having the opportunity to make a more informed decision after experiencing the roles first hand.