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Oladotun
Garuba

Nigeria
My placement gave me the opportunity to understand the role of a quantity surveyor a lot more. I engaged clients and contractors which helped develop my communication skills and was useful when trying to get a graduate job.

More about Oladotun

Oladotun graduated in 2019, and now has a successful career as an Assistant Cost Consultant. 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?

Interestingly, the answer is my dad. I had just completed a foundation programme at Reading University but had to retake an exam to continue. My dad had other plans and enrolled me at NTU. My dad is also a qualified quantity surveyor and nudged me intently to studying quantity surveying after secondary school.

Looking back, what did you most enjoy about your time at NTU?

The bond between me and my course mates. A group of 15-20 of us had been together from first year then went on placement and came back. We had a very good bond in our final year.

What did you think about the course staff? How did they support your learning and university experience?

I struggled initially to build a relationship with my lecturers. The course was very new and I wasn’t getting my head around things quickly. By final year I felt I'd built a good relationship with them. It made it easier to engage with them productively.

Did you undertake a placement during your studies at NTU? If yes, how did this help with your career?

Yes, my placement gave me the opportunity to understand the role of a quantity surveyor a lot more. I engaged clients and contractors which helped develop my communication skills and was useful when trying to get a graduate job as I'd had a fair bit of industry experience by that point.

How has your career developed since leaving your studies behind?

I secured a graduate job whilst still in my final year and started not long after I graduated. Since then I've been promoted to an assistant role and look forward to progressing more in the future.

Can you tell us about some of the other roles you've done?

I have played the role of a graduate quantity surveyor on projects supporting with the assessment of applications for payment and compensation events on contracts. I have also been a Supplier Relationship Officer which deals a lot with high-level communication between the the client and delivery partners.

What's your favourite project to date that you have worked on during your career?

That's hard to say! I was an assistant quantity surveyor on a 3-detached house project in North London and liked it because of its simplicity.

What was your experience of the Career Services at NTU?

I engaged with the Employability Team at Newton a lot in my 2nd year to get CV and cover letter writing support in order to apply for a placement. Once I finished my year out, I knew what I needed to do to get a graduate job. This experience was very valuable.

What advice would you give to current students at NTU in relation to their career goals?

Try and get some work experience while you're at university, ideally related to your course. This will help you at university and also when trying to secure future roles. Also, be proactive with your learning - read a lot more, attend webinars/seminars, even outside the classroom.

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