Challenge yourself – Quantity Surveying in the UK

craig kecheran2I am Craig Kecheran and I joined ARCADIS in August 2007 (merging with EC Harris in January 2013). I’m a Graduate Cost Consultant based in the Edinburgh, UK office, working within the Property sector. Following on from high school, my aim was to combine work experience with academic studies by attending university – I’m a firm believer that the quickest and most effective way to learn is through experience. Luckily for me, ARCADIS were willing to employ me and after a lengthy 6 year parttime university course I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Quantity Surveying, and I am currently working towards my RICS professional qualification.

Seven and a half years on from my first day with ARCADIS, I have been involved in both pre and post contract services in a number of refurbishment and new build projects, varying in value and complexity, from initial feasibility studies through to the settlement of final accounts. My main involvement within the business has been working on large residential projects for Places for People, a key client and one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK. EC Harris has recently been successful in being re-appointed onto their highly competitive framework, which should secure many projects over the next few years, where we will be acting as both the Quantity Surveyor and Employer’s Agent.

The experience I have gained in my career to date has given me the confidence to take the lead Quantity Surveyor role on two major projects; the construction of 54 new build flats for the elderly complete with associated external works and the construction of 73 new build flats and houses along with refurbishment works to an existing building, together with associated external works.

craig kecheranIn addition to my lead role on the projects noted above, I cover a wide range of activities, across all aspects of the Quantity Surveying function including cost planning, valuation analysis, financial reports, preparation of tender documentation and measurement take-offs. I have gradually started undertaking more of the Employer’s Agent role for both of the above projects and the experience that I’ve gained and the assistance I’m receiving from my colleagues is highly beneficial to me in adapting to this wider role.

I’m lucky enough to have been involved in several ARCADIS events, including participation in the annual ARCADIS Winter Cup held in Freiberg, Germany every year and scaling the Scottish Munro “Schiehallion” in aid of the ARCADIS 125 Challenge. I’m grateful for the opportunities that ARCADIS/EC Harris has provided me with, and no doubt there will be many more opportunities in the future which will allow me to interact with colleagues around the globe. This is also one of the many benefits that the Global Shapers program has to offer.

My advice to other young Arcadians would be: don’t be afraid to take on the challenges and throw yourself into the deep end! Your colleagues within ARCADIS/EC Harris are always there to review and assist you in your endeavours, and from my experience other professionals within the industry are usually willing to offer help and/or advice to assist a young professional in the early stages of their career.

Craig Kecheran, EC Harris

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