This week Malcolm Hollis is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. This annual event brings the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.
Our apprentice Conor Lynch speaks about his experience as a Building Surveying Apprentice.
What attracted you to do a Building Surveying Apprenticeship?
Having previously studied a degree in mathematics, I decided that the combination of practice and theory offered by surveying suited me better. I was attracted by the opportunity to earn and learn simultaneously. I am now working towards my Building Surveying degree and professional qualification through the University College of Estate Management.
What was it like going from studying to working in an office environment?
I think by the time I got to Malcolm Hollis I was ready for the stability of working in an office. After deciding not to carry on my studies at university, a few mundane temp jobs followed (I was a terrible waiter). So, coming to a friendly office was something I looked forward to.
What attracted you to Malcolm Hollis?
The variety of services that the company offers means I can get experience in different areas of surveying, whilst leaning from my more experienced colleagues who are experts in their field. Everyone I work with is always friendly and helpful.
It’s not just work as different activities, like payday drinks in the office, are always a bonus…even if I’m awful at beer pong.
How do your days typically start?
Early! A short two-hour commute from Ipswich is the perfect way to start any day…
How do you organise your workload?
Work and college study seem to come in peaks and troughs and often seems to all come at once. One of the major things I have learnt whilst at Malcolm Hollis is the need to be flexible but also to organise your workload well in advance. Sometimes I find it easiest to shut off from work for a day to focus on college study but on other occasions it suits to do smaller shifts of college study to fit around my schedule.
Do you feel work and college complement each other?
Due to being in the first year of the apprenticeship scheme, I am studying several broad subjects which are difficult to relate to practical work. However, when more technical subjects have come up in building technology I found I had already learnt a lot from being on site, so this was very advantageous.
What’s your favourite part of work?
The diverse nature of building surveying is something I enjoy. Being able to get experience in different services and travelling to different sites ensures the work doesn’t become stale.
Also, being based mainly in the projects team, it is interesting to see the process of taking a rather derelict space to a new refurbishment.
What’s the most surprising thing you have learnt so far?
I had no idea what dilapidations is before coming to Malcolm Hollis, so it was really surprising to see the amount of money businesses have to pay when their lease comes to an end. It’s something I had never really thought of before.
What’s the most challenging aspect of being an apprentice?
Balancing work load is probably the part I find the most challenging. Knowing when not to take on more work and also keeping a steady flow of work coming in is difficult. But with the help of my mentor, I am getting better at this.
Do you feel hopeful about your career prospects?
It’s easy to see the career progression through Malcolm Hollis. Graduates are consistently being challenged to complete the APC and there is a lot of support to do this. Likewise, with chartered surveyors who wish to be job managers, there seems to be regular and consistent training to help with development and progression. I see no reason why I cannot go through the same process.