At Careys, we’re passionate about nurturing the future leaders and innovators of our industry.
Our entry-level schemes and programmes strive to develop our teams through mentoring, continuous learning and exposure to exciting and challenging projects. This week, we spoke with placement student, Sam Montague, about his experience with us, the impact it’s had on his career development and his advice to other placement students.
My university degree
I study at Robert Gordon’s University (RGU) in Aberdeen. RGU is known for being one of the best universities in the UK for employability, and one of the best in Scotland for studying surveying.
Specifically, I study Quantity Surveying. The course really suits me, as it focuses on coursework over exams. The university frequently brings in construction professionals to give workshops and lectures, in order for us to understand the practical side of our learning.
My work placement
As part of my course, I am required to do a six-month “sandwich” work placement in order to get real-life industry experience (rather than being stuck in a classroom). I was at a student’s jobs fair in November 2018 when I met Careys. I then had the pleasure of starting my placement with the Careys team a few months later, towards the end of January 2019.
My role and responsibilities
In my first three months with Careys, I’ve been given a huge range of tasks to complete – from compiling cost summaries for muck away and concrete to amending and editing terms and clauses in standard contracts. What I most enjoy is procuring sub-contractors and everything that it involves, such as sending out enquiries, chasing quotations and requesting commercial discounts. This gives me a sense of responsibility and the feeling of being an integral part of the Carey team.
Why I chose a career in construction
I was obsessed with Lego when I was younger, and would always build outrageous structures. So, I’ve always been fascinated by architecture and how marvellous structures are able to be built in complex places -much like many of the projects Careys carries out.
Also, getting to see diggers and trucks every day brings out the excited six-year-old in me!
More than I initially anticipated
Getting to work with Careys on my placement has been great, as I am getting to see so many different angles of a construction project.
As I’m working on two projects at once, I am able to see all the pre-construction processes of Oxford House, for example, as well as all of the complexities and challenges of Grosvenor Square, for instance. I’m only three months through my placement, and I never expected to get see as many aspects of construction as I already have.
A valuable experience and how it will impact my career moving forward
Coming from studying in Aberdeen, being given the opportunity to come and work in London has been a big deal for me. London offers challenges that no other city in the UK can match, due to all of the different experiences it provides when it comes to transport, people, culture, economy, geography and so on. Working with Careys has pushed me out of my comfort zone, which is helping me to become a better construction professional.
My favourite project
Working at Grosvenor Square is a unique experience. It’s great to see one of London’s iconic buildings undergoing a total renovation. Being able to see the lifespan of the project, as it has evolved over a six-months period has shown me just how much planning, people resources and investment needs to go into creating a development in the centre of London.
My advice to placement students
Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Go abroad, or head to a diverse city like London, as you’ll learn the most from working in places like these while on placement.
The culture at Careys
In three words – I would describe the culture at Careys as: educational, safe and diverse.