BSc (Honours) in Quanity Surveying graduate Laura White gives an account of her career path from Ireland to the UK and back to Waterford.
Job title - Senior Project and Contracts Officer
Organisation - Respond! Housing association
Employment location - Waterford
What was the highlight of your time at WIT?
I made the most amazing life long friends during my time in WIT. My highlight came quite soon after starting in WIT, I loved the course and was excited about committing my professional career to quantity surveying.
What Awards / Scholarships won / clubs and societies were you involved in?
(God that's terrible but none. I had a great time, I didn't have time for clubs and societies!) I was involved in setting out the course content the year that the course received accreditation from the SCSI. This was a hugely important achievement for WIT and essential for any student choosing a QS course.
What is unique about studying at WIT?
I absolutely loved my time in WIT. It's a modern facility with excellent career guidance. Weather you stay on campus or in the surrounding areas, Waterford is a beautiful city where i always felt safe and I have now made my home.
What are the key skills that have influenced your career and / or personal development?
The course is very practical and at degree level all course work is based around team work and presentations. This had a huge impact on my career as it massively improved my public speaking, confidence and presentation skills.
What advice would you give to someone considering a degree in Quantity Surveying at WIT?
I thought that the syllabus in WIT was very current and up to date. When I graduated in 2009, I began working in Heathrow airport in London. As a graduate from WIT, I was ahead of the curve as I had a working knowledge of project and corporate management (known in industry as project controls) and advanced construction IT systems as they were both modules in WIT.
Career path to date
I Started working with Healy Kelly Turner and Townsend in 2005 while still studying in WIT. In 2009, I went to work for BAA in Heathrow airport in London. I'm very excited to be now starting a new role with Respond! housing association.
Career highlight to date
I was very honoured to receive an award at the Duke of Gloucesters young achievers scheme. The awards were presented by royalty in the RIBA headquarters in London.
What does your current role involve?
My current role is very varied. It mainly involves applying for funding to the government or local authorities for social housing. Once funding is received I manage the procurement, tendering and construction process.
What do you find most interesting / challenging?
Everyday is different. The role has always been very challenging, it's important to manage people's expectations from a financial perspective and avoid any hidden surprises.
What advice would you give those entering the job market from WIT?
The world is full of opportunity but nobody else can make it happen only you.
'As a QS, you are hired to manage someone else's money. My advice would be to manage their money as if it was your own. Be completely open and transparent' Laura White