Think that being a trainee QS is all coffee runs and filing? Think again.
At Doig+Smith we take the training of our junior staff members seriously, ensuring they are fully integrated within the company and making a contribution to our projects.
Dominic Crichton, a trainee quantity surveyor based in our Glasgow office has been attending market testing analysis meetings for one of our projects and cited this experience as the highlight of his traineeship to-date.
What do the meetings involve?
Meetings of this nature are held twice weekly, and are typically attended by ourselves and the main contractor to discuss the work packages that have been market tested.
Before such meetings, the Doig+Smith team reviews and analyses each work package that will be discussed at the meeting, whilst preparing any queries or concerns we have about that particular work package. For example, if the quantity used for a specific item appears excessive.
When the meeting begins, a work package is selected for discussion, and whoever has been tasked with analysing that specific work package will lead the conversation, addressing any queries or concerns they have prepared. From these discussions any differences are ironed out between us and the Main Contractor ahead of submission of the work package to the client.
What role do you play in the meetings?
I have often lead discussions on the work packages I have worked on. The first time I did this was quite nerve racking, but I also got a buzz out of it. I realised that if you are well-prepared, there’s really no need to feel nervous. Ahead of the meeting, I always prepare my list of talking points and construct a formal query sheet to present to the main contractor.
What have you gained from this experience?
I have learned multiple social and professional lessons, that have increased my confidence when holding formal discussions. Lessons such as, how to communicate effectively with others, conflict avoidance, negotiation skills, etc. As a student these experiences and lessons cannot be learned in a lecture hall and without this opportunity I would not have been able to obtain such experiences.
Dominic studies Quantity Surveying at Glasgow Caledonian University and is currently in his third year of a 4 year course. He is based at Doig+Smith for a 7 month long placement.