Next generation talent

Next generation talent

Working in partnership with the University of Brighton since 2016, QED Sustainable Urban Developments have funded the Breakthrough Award for the Building Surveying course. The award recognises the hard work of one lucky student each year and we caught up with Alex Wisby, the 2018 winner, to find out about his journey to university, his experience as a student and what being recognised with the award meant to him.

What was your journey to university?
Before university, I had been working in various trades within the construction industry for many years. Over the years, I always thought there had to be a more challenging role for myself within construction.

I attended an open day at the University of Brighton for the Building Surveying course to find out more and to understand the entry requirements. To be able to apply for the course, I had to first get a grade C or above in Maths and English GCSE and then 24 merits or distinction in an Access to Higher Education course. After passing Maths and English with a C and B respectively, I enrolled on the Business and Enterprise HE course, which I passed with full distinctions enabling me to enrol at the University of Brighton.

What interests you about Building Surveying as a profession?
I’ve always wondered how buildings work and how they are created from conception to completion. One particular aspect that really interested me from a surveying perspective is that each job would be different and have its own challenges. At university, I’ve found the core module, building surveying and also the quantity surveying very interesting.

How have you found the course so far?
The course so far has been challenging yet rewarding at the same time. The first year felt so intense and full on, but it also opened my eyes to all the different aspects to what a surveyor can specialise in. I felt year two picked up from year one in intensity, but the skills and knowledge learnt in year one helped me progress through year two.

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement at university so far?
Receiving the Breakthrough Award has been my biggest achievement since starting university.

What does winning the Breakthrough Award mean to you?
The day I found out I won the Breakthrough Award was the same day I passed my driving theory test, so all in all it was a brilliant day! For me, winning the award is recognition for all the hard work I have been putting in the last two years. In addition, the award has given me the self-belief and confidence to push myself in the final year.

What are your ambitions for your final year?
For my final year, my main ambition is to finish the degree with a first. Over the last two years, I have kept my head down and studied hard to get the grades to achieve this. Throughout the year, I also aim to attend events to network and find a job for after graduation.

What do you hope to do when you leave university?
When I graduate from university, the hope is to have a job already secured. Failing that, the search and applications will carry on until I’m successful. I would like to find a job that involves doing measured and condition surveys or an assistant quantity-surveying role.

Ross Gilbert, managing director of QED Sustainable Urban Developments commented: “It is incredibly important to us to help support and nurture the next generation of talented individuals coming in to our industry, which is why we decided to partner with the University of Brighton and establish the Breakthrough Award. Alex is a worthy winner and a credit to the university, we wish him all the best with his continued studies and future career.”