Base Quantum - Quality in Quantity
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Our People: An interview with Richard Ekanem

September 13, 2019 − by Charles Day − in Interviews − No Comments

Richard Ekanem
 
Role: Quantity surveyor
Office location: London
Joined the team: June 2019

Why Base?
 
I have previously worked for large outfits for a contractor and consultancy firm. I heard about Base from a colleague and started to think about the benefits of joining a smaller company. It tends to be easier to get to know your colleagues in a smaller business and I wanted to join a firm with the potential for me to grow organically and have the right people around me. I got that impression from Base; they experience a lot of repeat business and I was excited to join a firm that was growing and had a solid clientele.

 
What skills and qualities do you feel you bring to Base?
 
I have experience in large infrastructure projects, predominately in the rail sector and have worked with several high-profile clients; namely Bechtel, Crossrail, TFL, Eurostar and Hitachi Rail. Recently, I’ve also worked with Virgin Media so have experience with utilities, civil works and M&E. I believe my experience working with a main contractor (based on site) and providing consultancy services for several high-profile clients, will help me to bring technical experience to the Base team and deliver a quality service to the clients I represent.

 
What would you like to achieve in your first year at Base?
 
First and foremost, my goal is to complete my APC and achieve my RICS chartership.

 
What are your career aspirations for the future?
 
My goal for the next 5 years is to achieve my chartership, gain experience and confidence in various sectors in a QS role and gain exposure to the Expert Witness field. I also aspire to manage trainee QSs at Base in order to help develop the team and work towards becoming an Associate Director for the business.

 
What about your new role is most exciting for you?
 
The opportunity to work in new sectors and gain experience in both Quantity Surveying and Expert Witness work. I’m currently completing some work for the Expert Witness team, but I know that I will get the chance to broaden into other sectors and areas of the business. The close-knit nature of the company means that I’ll have the opportunity to gain experience that might not have been available to me in the past.

I wanted to join a firm with the potential for me to grow organically and have the right people around me… [Base] experience a lot of repeat business and I was excited to join a firm that was growing and had a solid clientele.

 
Is there anything about your new role that you are apprehensive about or have already found challenging?
 
I was lucky in that I met a few members of the team before starting. In addition, I knew some colleagues from previous projects. It’s the first time that I’ve worked for a smaller outfit so I was not sure how long it would take me to settle within the business. Nevertheless, a few weeks in, I am comfortable, enjoying my work and supported by a good team – so it’s been great.

 
If you could ask for one thing from Base to support your career and development, what would it be?
 
The obvious one here is support with my APC development. In addition, I believe 3 monthly catchups with my line manager will be key to support my work and career. I think everyone should be allocated mentors within the business (someone you don’t necessarily work with day-to-day) as this is a great way to set career milestones and refine your development.

 
What motivates you?
 
Nothing motivates me more than a sunny day, but that is a lot to ask for consistently in the UK. Having a happy team around me is important along with setting and achieving goals periodically which drives my motivation to succeed. I also believe having a good work life balance also plays a vital role in remaining motivated.

 
What are your biggest strengths?
 
I think that one of my key strengths is the ability to read between the lines whilst undertaking a task. I strive to own tasks and projects I work on and believe that going a step further, whilst paying attention to the detail, adds value where needed. I think I’m quite good at taking something on and owning it. I’m also quite good with people which is key in our industry.

 
How would your family and friends describe you?
 
My friends would probably brand me as the Mr. Safety of the group but also as a ‘Yes-man’ as I struggle to say no (typically to going out). My family would likely describe me as particular and I would like to think smart.

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