From supportive teams to exciting projects, learn more about what a role in quantity surveying could look like for you.
Interviewer: Harrison Bartlett
Meet Alice Anderson, a senior quantity surveyor working within our construction team in the Eastern and Midlands region. Harrison Bartlett sat down with Alice to learn more about the progression opportunities within quantity surveying and what she loves about the industry and Kier.
As someone who’s at the very start of my career, I love when I get the chance to chat with colleagues across the business who have worked their way through the ranks and Alice is a fantastic example of the progression available in a role like quantity surveying.
We started our discussion with Alice sharing how she joined Kier as a graduate quantity surveyor straight after university, graduating with a degree in commercial management and quantity surveying from Loughborough University in 2007.
Since then, Alice has progressed in her field, moving to quantity surveyor three years after joining Kier, followed by another promotion to project quantity surveyor – a role that she held for eight years before her most recent move to senior quantity surveyor.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have always had some amazing line managers who have openly listened during those conversations and given me the opportunity to develop and progress into new roles,” Alice says.
We talk more about the progression opportunities available at Kier, and for myself I was keen to understand the support available when you are ready to make that move.
“I think ultimately you know within yourself when you’re ready to make the jump to a new role,” Alice explains. “It’s important to figure out what you want from the business and have open conversations with your team and managers about your progression.”
As a senior quantity surveyor, Alice spends her days working through financial tasks, sourcing subcontractors, supporting with bids for new work and working out the best way to move forward with a project. “I love how much the work changes from year to year. You get new projects to get stuck into, new people to meet and new teams to work in and it’s brilliant!” she beams.
During her time here at Kier, Alice has been involved in many projects ranging from leisure centres to residential schemes, having the opportunity to see projects move from paper to reality. “Seeing a building rise and the project finish makes quantity surveying such a satisfying role I think, it’s a really exciting part of the business to work in,” Alice adds.
As you progress through the ranks of quantity surveying, naturally your responsibilities on the projects will increase and diversify. You will start to be involved in the client meetings and internal project adjudications and move onto managing your own packages and eventually your own projects. You may even take on line-manager responsibilities when you are ready to do so. “I’ve always enjoyed this aspect of moving into a new position, being trusted more to manage the projects and people and take the lead,” says Alice.
“Our commercial team is made up of quantity surveyors at all levels and one of the most enlivening parts of the role is when we get to work together to submit bids for new projects,” Alice says. When Alice and her team support with bids, this is where they’ll combine their skills to outline plans for a project and showcase why Kier should be the client of choice. They promote and demonstrate the social value we can create, our focus on sustainability and our ability to get the job done.
As you’d expect from someone who’s been in the industry for the time that she has, Alice has seen a lot of change within the construction industry, including technology, practices and working culture. "People work best when they’re working in a way which suits them,” she says. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work part-time for some of my career, to support my work-life balance, and I’ve still been able to progress," Alice adds.
“The supportive nature of the business has been one of the main reasons I’ve been here for so long,” Alice says. “I’m a carer for my son, who has certain medical conditions that means he has regular hospital visits, and my manager has always been so supportive of this, plus the introduction of the carer’s policy means that I have the business’ support too,” she adds.
Thank you, Alice, for sharing your journey with us.
If you’re interested in a career at Kier, make sure to take a look at our vacancies.