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Olivia Foster - Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship (Quantity Surveyor Pathway)

Olivia Foster, 22, works as a Quantity Surveyor for Willmott Dixon Construction. Although originally planning to study economics full-time at university, she took the opportunity to apply for a Quantity Surveyor role and is now currently studying part-time at NTU on her degree apprenticeship. Olivia mentions her “favourite part about this apprenticeship would definitely be the enriched learning that helps provide for my day-to-day job”.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

“Like most students in Sixth Form or college, I had originally applied to study economics full-time at university. Whilst completing my A-levels, I got contacted by a director at my current firm who saw potential in me to join their management trainee scheme. I had no previous construction knowledge at all (and wasn’t entirely certain on what a Quantity Surveyor actually did), but regardless I went for the interviews and assessment day and was fortunate enough to be offered the job. Part of my contract was that I would complete a part-time degree apprenticeship to help build up my construction knowledge – which has put me where I am today.”

What stands out about NTU?

“The thing that stands out the most about NTU for me is purely the vast amount of positive feedback that it receives from previous students. When researching into universities, I never once heard a bad word about any of their part-time courses (particularly the quantity surveyor course). It was also one of the only universities who incorporated the RICS APC into the university course. This was a huge bonus for me as I was keen to become chartered after my degree anyway, so the fact that it was a condition of my degree just made everything even more appealing.”

How do you believe this apprenticeship will affect both your current job role and future career?

“Without a doubt this apprenticeship has enhanced my career. With no prior construction knowledge to starting my current job, NTU has provided me with a lot of the basic construction knowledge required to progress my career. It is invaluable learning and working alongside each other, as both enhance one another and there is a big crossover between what I learn at university and the work I complete in my day-to-day job. Once I get chartered as part of my degree, this will once again massively enhance my career and hopefully take me to a new level of responsibility and knowledge.”

It was one of the only universities who incorporated the RICS APC into the university course. This was a huge bonus for me, as I was keen to become chartered after my degree anyway, so the fact that it was a condition of my degree just made everything even more appealing.

How would you rate the teaching and support staff on this apprenticeship?

“Throughout every single one of my years at NTU, the teaching and support from the staff has been great. I think NTU have found the perfect balance between guiding and teaching their students, whilst also encouraging and allowing independent studying to help further enrich the education they provide.

What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?

“This apprenticeship has taught me so many valuable skills – with one of the most prominent being the value of time management when juggling university and a career. Before I joined the course I was slightly sceptical about the level of support we would receive as part-time students and not having the full university experience. However, I shouldn’t have worried. NTU have offered us all the same benefits that full time students would receive throughout the experience and the support has always been there for whenever you might need it.”

What advice would you give to someone considering a higher/ degree apprenticeship?

“100% go for it! Some days it can be tough when university deadlines and work deadlines are piling up, however it teaches you so many valuable skills and is all worth it in the end. It helps to give you an advantage against peers, as not only have you been working the whole time, but you have also gained a degree at the same time.”

To learn more about our apprenticeship courses, please contact apprenticeships@ntu.ac.uk.

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