Role: Associate Director
Office location: London
Joined the team: October 2016
Base offered me the opportunity to help grow the Quantity Surveying side of the business, whilst also learning more about Expert Witness work. Coming to the company has given me a different experience, the opportunity to work abroad and learn from experienced colleagues who could help me grow, develop new skills and prevent me from becoming stagnant.
What skills and expertise do you bring to Base?
The majority of my experience has been client-facing Quantity Surveying work. My technical skills include pre-contract and cost-planning. I’ve also done a lot of contract administration and on-site work with residential projects.
I joined Base with a request to be involved in the training of our team. I am Line Manager to the majority of our trainees and assist with their studies; reviewing and providing feedback on their university work. I help to plan their progression through the company, from trainee to Quantity Surveyor, and deal with their day-to-day work requirements. I then get them started on the APC process. I’d like to think that I’m approachable enough that they can come to me if they have concerns or questions.
How do you see the industry changing in the future?
We’re always going to experience ups and downs. With the uncertainty of Brexit, it is possible that we could enter into a downturn or possible recession. If this happens, I imagine the ratio of work within Base’s Quantity Surveyor and Expert Witness sectors will shift. People would become more conscious of outstanding money and, as a result, we’d probably see more disputes. However, I think Base will continue to grow; as a company we are almost unrecognisable now compared to when I started. We work in a competitive market, so it is difficult to recruit good people, however, as a company, we seem to be overcoming this and have a great team in place and a high quality of trainers coming through, that will push us on in the coming years.
Long term, my goal is to venture into the Expert Witness world. However, I think that to be a credible Expert Witness, you need to be a skilled Quantity Surveyor. My goal is to be a competent and respected QS, have a broad spectrum of skills, and become experienced enough to move into Expert Witness work. The company is growing and, obviously, I have personal aspirations – if I could become a Director, I’d be happy – but as long as I’m a part of a successful team, I don’t think I could ask for more.
Why do you think that is?
We recruit well. As an employee, you don’t get pigeon-holed into working in one role or one specific industry. We offer a range of work, including the possibility for experience in disputes. We’re a small company and we’re continually growing, so there’s the opportunity for progression and to learn the trade all the way up. We have a young team, everyone is very driven, and we remain fresh within the industry. It’s an attractive opportunity.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Base so far?
During my time at Base, I’ve been exposed to expert reports for the first time, which has definitely been outside of my comfort zone. Valuing works is what we do as Quantity Surveyors. Expressing how a value is formed and presenting a case for an independent third party, however, is a totally different skill, and has been a huge learning curve. I learned a lot from working with and assisting Duncan, in particular the way he can amend my work into his wording for use in an Expert report has been an invaluable experience and I’m still learning now.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Relatively laid back – maybe too laid back at times. A bit of a joker. I don’t take myself too seriously. Hopefully they think I’m a good person!