How to get experience in Quantity Surveying as a student?

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Quantity surveying is a crucial field in the construction industry, dealing with the management and control of construction costs. For students aspiring to become quantity surveyors, gaining practical experience is essential. This article outlines various strategies and opportunities for students to build their skills and gain valuable experience in quantity surveying.

Understanding Quantity Surveying

Quantity surveying involves the calculation and management of construction costs, ensuring projects are completed within budget. It includes tasks such as preparing cost estimates, managing contracts, and overseeing project finances. Construction estimates are a significant part of this role, requiring precise calculation and analysis.

Importance of Experience in Quantity Surveying

Experience in quantity surveying is vital for students because it bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application. Hands-on experience helps students understand the complexities of construction projects and prepares them for a successful career in the industry.

Internships and Work Placements

Internships

Internships are one of the most effective ways for students to gain experience in quantity surveying. Many construction firms offer internships to students, providing an opportunity to work on live projects under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Work Placements

Work placements are similar to internships but may be part of a university course. These placements typically last longer and offer more in-depth exposure to quantity surveying practices. Students can gain hands-on experience and learn industry standards and procedures.

Part-Time Jobs in Construction

On-Site Roles

Working part-time in construction can provide valuable experience. Roles such as site assistant or construction laborer offer insights into the practical aspects of construction projects. Students can observe and participate in tasks related to quantity surveying and construction estimates.

Office-Based Roles

Part-time office-based roles, such as administrative assistant or junior estimator, can also be beneficial. These positions allow students to engage in cost estimation, contract management, and other relevant tasks, building their knowledge and skills in quantity surveying.

Volunteering and Networking

Volunteering

Volunteering for non-profit organizations or community projects can provide practical experience in quantity surveying. These projects often require cost management and budgeting, allowing students to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting.

Networking

Networking with professionals in the construction industry can open doors to various opportunities. Attending industry events, joining professional associations, and connecting with experienced quantity surveyors can lead to internships, job offers, and mentorship.

Utilizing University Resources

Career Services

Many universities offer career services that help students find internships, placements, and part-time jobs. Utilizing these resources can simplify the process of gaining experience in quantity surveying.

Course Projects

Course projects often involve practical assignments related to quantity surveying. Engaging fully in these projects, seeking feedback from instructors, and collaborating with peers can enhance practical knowledge and skills.

Online Courses and Certifications

Online Courses

Various online platforms offer courses in quantity surveying and construction estimating. These courses can supplement academic knowledge and provide practical insights. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer relevant courses.

Certifications

Earning certifications in quantity surveying can boost a student’s resume and demonstrate commitment to the field. Certifications such as the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) offer recognized credentials that can enhance job prospects.

Seeking Mentorship

Finding a mentor in the field of quantity surveying can provide guidance and support. Mentors can share their experiences, offer advice on career development, and help students navigate the industry. Building a relationship with a mentor can lead to valuable insights and opportunities.

Attending Workshops and Seminars

Workshops and seminars offer intensive, focused learning experiences. These events often feature industry experts who share practical knowledge and current trends in quantity surveying. Attending these events can enhance a student’s understanding and provide networking opportunities.

Attending workshops and seminars is a highly effective way for students to gain practical knowledge and stay updated with the latest trends in quantity surveying and construction estimating. These events are typically organized by professional bodies, educational institutions, and industry organizations. Here’s a deeper look into how they can benefit students:

Types of Workshops and Seminars

Industry Conferences

Industry conferences often feature a range of seminars and workshops focusing on different aspects of quantity surveying. These events bring together professionals from various sectors of the construction industry, providing students with a broad perspective.

Professional Development Workshops

These workshops are designed to enhance specific skills relevant to quantity surveying. Topics may include advanced cost-estimating techniques, contract management, risk assessment, and the use of specialized software like BIM (Building Information Modeling).

Academic Seminars

Universities and colleges frequently organize seminars that delve into the theoretical and practical aspects of quantity surveying. These events can include guest lectures from industry experts, panel discussions, and case study analyses.

How to get experience in Quantity Surveying as a student

Benefits of Attending Workshops and Seminars

Learning from Experts

Workshops and seminars often feature presentations and sessions led by seasoned professionals and industry leaders. These experts share their experiences, insights, and practical knowledge, which can significantly enhance a student’s understanding of the field.

Networking Opportunities

Attending these events provides excellent networking opportunities. Students can meet and interact with professionals, potential employers, and peers. Building a professional network can lead to internships, job opportunities, and mentorships.

Hands-On Experience

Many workshops include interactive sessions where participants can engage in practical activities. These might involve working on case studies, using industry-standard software, or participating in simulations of real-world scenarios. This hands-on experience is invaluable for applying theoretical knowledge.

Staying Updated with Industry Trends

The construction industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and methodologies emerging regularly. Workshops and seminars help students stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in quantity surveying and construction estimating. This knowledge can give them a competitive edge in the job market.

Gaining Insights into Career Paths

These events often feature sessions on career development, where professionals discuss different career paths within quantity surveying. Students can learn about various specializations, the skills required for each, and the potential career trajectories.

Access to Resources

Participants in workshops and seminars often receive access to valuable resources, such as presentation materials, case studies, and software trials. These resources can be useful for further study and practice.

How to Make the Most of Workshops and Seminars

Prepare in Advance

Before attending, research the event’s agenda and the profiles of the speakers. Prepare questions you might want to ask and identify specific sessions that align with your interests and career goals.

Engage Actively

Participate actively in discussions and activities during the event. Engaging with the content and speakers will enhance your learning experience and leave a positive impression on the professionals you meet.

Network Strategically

Take advantage of networking opportunities. Introduce yourself to speakers and attendees, exchange contact information, and follow up with them after the event. Building a strong professional network is crucial for career development.

Take Notes

Keep detailed notes on the key points discussed during the sessions. This will help you retain the information and refer back to it later. Note down any resources or tools mentioned that you can explore further.

Follow Up

After the event, follow up with new contacts and connect with them on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. Share your insights and experiences from the event on social media to demonstrate your engagement with the industry.

Gaining Experience Through Freelancing

Freelancing on small projects can provide practical experience in quantity surveying. Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer offer opportunities to work on cost estimation and project management tasks. Freelancing allows students to build a portfolio and gain hands-on experience.

Gaining experience in quantity surveying as a student requires a proactive approach. By seeking internships, work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering opportunities, students can develop practical skills and knowledge. Utilizing university resources, pursuing online courses, certifications, and networking are also essential strategies. With dedication and effort, students can build a strong foundation in quantity surveying, setting the stage for a successful career in the construction industry.

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