Studied: HNC Construction and Built Environment
Progression: Quantity Surveying Apprenticeship at the University of Wolverhampton
Lauren Hanslow may not have known what to do next after her A Levels, but six years on, her university and career goals are all set out.
The quantity surveyor for MD Smith Consultants Ltd completed a HNC in Construction and Built Environment. She is now on the third year of a part-time degree-based apprenticeship in quantity surveying at the University of Wolverhampton.
“My degree includes the chartered institute of building status that verifies my professional position,” said Lauren. “It puts me on par with others across the industry and adds to the reputation of the company I work for.”
Lauren had been in her role for a year before starting her HNC.
“It was a really good course,” she says. “I had heard horror stories from others at university who would turn up to class, only to be told the lecturers weren’t going to be in. This didn’t ever happen to me. And my lecturers all came from industry, so they knew what they were talking about.”
Balancing a full-time job with a demanding higher level qualification ‘had its moments’, according to Lauren, but staying focused helped her succeed in both areas.
“There are times when you have a lot of deadlines to meet, but there are always ways to keep on top of things. The lecturers are full of support and advice.
“Others students encourage you as well. You’re all going through the same thing, so you realise that if they’re doing it, you can too.”
Lauren’s role consists of overseeing the costings and contracts for a variety of construction projects. Her time is spent on site, scoping the work and feasibility costs that a building or refurbishment project might involve. She then returns to the office to produce costings on behalf of the client for the contractor quantity surveyor to review and agree.
“Being involved in building projects from start to finish makes my work all the more rewarding,” said Lauren. “I came into the job at the deep end, without much industry experience. This didn’t faze me. I stayed calm and made sure to ask lots of questions.
“I avoided going to university straight after my A Levels because I didn’t know what I wanted to study. It meant I ended up in a couple of jobs I didn’t really enjoy before coming into construction.”
Lauren continued: “Quantity surveying is a vital part of the building process and I take pride in working to the best of my ability.
“Being in a small business means I benefit from being involved in a range of projects simultaneously, all at different progression stages. I manage some of these on my own and do others as a team. This might not be the case for other businesses. There are some contractors who might spend an entire year on one single building project.
“For me, it means there are always challenges to address. This is something I relish. I want to carry on making this role my own and developing it in as many ways as possible.”