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Adam Brooks
University is as much about developing into who you want to be as it is about the grades at the end. Take on board the process of learning and ask questions if you’re unsure.

More about Adam

Adam graduated in 2015, and now has a successful career as a Senior Quantity Surveyor. We caught up with him to find out about his time at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), and how things are going at the moment.

Why did you choose to study at NTU?

I would say choosing NTU wasn’t as simple as it had been for others on my course. Whilst going through school and sixth form I wasn’t sure what I would study at university. I remember looking through prospectuses and seeing courses I hadn’t heard of, including the Quantity Surveying and Construction Commercial Management course at NTU. After talking to family members in construction about the course, it sounded incredibly appealing to me.

This was a pivotal point in my life. I was excited and nervous to start studying something that would be completely new to me. In one of the early introductory sessions, someone said Quantity Surveyors were one third lawyers, one third accountants and one third engineers. The thought of being involved with a variety of projects and a variety of work really interested me.

What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures? What still makes you smile when you look back?

Whilst at university, I learned to change my approach to learning. Starting an entirely new course that I wasn’t familiar with let me be comfortable not knowing things and learning from scratch. It gave me confidence to ask questions during sessions because I felt I was in a stage of constant learning. This was a great lesson to learn, and I still benefit from this.

Being local to Nottingham I initially thought I might struggle not being in halls with other freshers and miss out on the social aspect of University. Due to this I made the effort to get involved and try new things. I made some friends during freshers, on the course and through joining societies. It was a great time for development and meeting new people, and I strongly recommend getting involved in the social aspect of university.

What does your current day involve? 

There’s no such thing as a typical day for me. In the past I have worked on projects in London, Manchester, or Bristol so would spent time visiting them and the project teams. My current projects are in London, so I’m able to work from home and go to site during the week.

My priorities each day vary. An example of one day could include: reporting the monthly project commercial position to senior management, preparing quotations and contractual communications, and valuing subcontractors’ applications for payment, amongst many other things.

What attracted you to this field of work?

The unknown and variety of it. I like the availability of being able to work in an office or go out onto site. I also like the complexity of the projects I’m able to work on, seeing completed projects and people’s reaction to them.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Getting chartered in 2019 was a highlight. The years of work that go into it and the support from my managers, supervisors, and counsellors was amazing.

What are your plans for the future?

Currently I’m working within Vetter UK; a Laing O’Rourke specialist trading business. I’m gaining experience here and would like to progress further through the commercial career ladder.

On the horizon I’d like to become FRICS (a RICS Fellow)

If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?

University is as much about developing into who you want to be as it is about the grades at the end. Take on board the process of learning and ask questions if you’re unsure. Become comfortable asking questions when things aren’t clear, you’ll be a lot better off than pretending to know something you do.

Engage with the social side of university, you’ll have some close friends who you’re in regular contact with from your time at NTU.

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