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Grant Browne

Quantity Surveyor

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Study 

What did you study?

National Diploma in Quantity Surveying - WINTEC

Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics) - UNITEC

Why did you choose this course?

When I left High School I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do.  I was interested in Property and Construction so was always going to do something in that industry. Initially, I enrolled at WINTEC in their Construction Management Diploma because that was the only thing that sounded vaguely like what I wanted to do; I figured I like Construction and, well, Management sounds pretty good too. Once I was 2 weeks in I could see another course that was more suited to me and I changed to take up the Quantity Surveying Diploma which focusses more on numbers and maths.

After completing that Diploma and working for about 6 months I decided I wasn’t quite finished studying so enrolled at Unitec completed the Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics).

What did you enjoy about your course?

Both of my courses involved a good balance of conventional classroom study mixed with a bit of hands-on experiments and exercises out in the industry.

What helped you to successfully complete your course?

Probably the biggest help for me was that I could work in the industry as a Quantity Surveyor while studying. This had a few benefits as it gave me an opportunity to apply my studies in the ‘real world’ which helped to understand things, plus it gave me a number of valuable industry contacts that I could draw on when researching for assignments etc.

What advice do you have for future students?

In my opinion, too many people go away to University for the wrong reasons. Find something that you enjoy doing and pursue that.

 

Career

 

Describe your job

I’ve been a Quantity Surveyor and Cost Estimator for about 10 years now. Recently I’ve been doing more Project Management as well. I now run the Small Projects team within a Commercial Construction company in Auckland.

What do you do on an average day?

Every day can be quite varied. I could be at my desk, on site, or in meetings all around town. Typical jobs include; producing budgets or tenders for new work, managing and forecasting cashflow, measuring, negotiating with sub-contractors or clients, writing contracts, ordering materials, pricing variation work, producing final accounts.

What is the most exciting about your job?

All the day-to-day variance that I just mentioned makes the job exciting. I enjoy that every project is different and has its own set of challenges. Every client has something that is important to them and working with them to deliver the best possible result can be quite satisfying when you hand over the finished product.

What opportunities does your job offer?

There are lot of different paths that you can follow once you’ve trained as a Quantity Surveyor. Some that come to mind include; Estimating, Cost Planning, Bank Funding, Project Management, Dispute Resolution, Client Representation, Property Development, Insurance Assessment, Contract Administration, Asset Management, and Property Taxation. John Mitchell is a Quantity Surveyor, so apparently you can even be the All Black coach, albeit an unsuccessful one.

What skills, training, education or past experiences helped you secure your job?

I have experience both as a Consultant QS and as a Construction QS. I think that gives anyone who is finding their place in the industry an opportunity to see how both sides of the equation works and has given me the right skill set to do my job.

Where do you see yourself heading in the future within this industry?

More of the same. I’d like to run my own company in due course.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to work as a Quantity Surveyor?

If you want to be a Quantity Surveyor then you will need to study at some point, but you might not need to straight away. If you’re a bit unsure then see if can get some work experience in a company near you. Everyone knows someone in the property industry so use the contacts that you already have to get introduced somewhere.

There are plenty of Quantity Surveying courses all around the country if you decide that it’s for you.

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