Jagdip Nahal

Quantity Surveying MSc

Upon completing a degree in Chemistry, Jagdip was unsure as to how he could transition into a career in the construction industry. However, after applying to study a Master’s in Quantity Surveying at BCU, he was able to gain the necessary skills and experiences required to become noticed in this sector. BCU’s career support helped Jagdip to take his next steps to reaching his goal, and he is currently excelling in his role as a Quantity Surveyor at Vinci Facilities.

“Growing up, I always wanted to have a successful career after completing my studies. However, during my time studying for both my A-Levels and undergraduate degree in Chemistry at a different university, my career focus had not been clear.

After graduating, I was keen to move into the construction industry. It was a sector I had interest in, and I had considered it a lot whilst studying Chemistry too. So, I applied to BCU, to complete a Master’s in Quantity Surveying. I did worry about transitioning from a science background to a totally new industry. However, at BCU, this was not an issue. The lecturers provide excellent support in helping students with non-construction backgrounds and gave me a lot of knowledge about what is to be expected in this career.

During my time at BCU, my proudest achievement was achieving my MSc qualification. There had been modules which I had struggled with, but with support from my personal tutor, Damilola Ekundayo, I was able to achieve the required marks for progression.

Nowadays, I am a full-time Quantity Surveyor with Vinci Facilities, based at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. A typical day involves me reviewing daily tasks and how to undertake them, including meetings with senior quantity surveyors, project leads, construction managers and clients, as well as discussions with facilities managers around monitoring projects from pre-approval to approval stage, and creating cost summaries and specifications of each project too.

There have been challenges in my career so far though. The most challenging aspect for myself personally is having the confidence in my skills and abilities. Experience can be gained, but skills and education are the key aspects which help an individual stand out from others. BCU provided me with what I needed for my next steps, including around attending interviews, but I sometimes just need to remind myself how far I’ve come.

Since graduating, I have been able to express my knowledge in a more confident manner and present ideas whilst working in teams. These experiences at work have developed my attributes and character as a person. Thankfully, my course at BCU was set up to provide specific knowledge on each aspect of my chosen industry, and modules like the Advanced Quantification and Cost Management, really helped to prepare me for my career.

In this role, I am hoping to achieve relevant and different experiences, as well as increasing my skills set. My future goals are to take on more project work as I work towards achieving my APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) qualification so that I can become chartered and therefore, would be a Senior Quantity Surveyor. I’d also like to work abroad in the future too, so I can see the world whilst I work.

My advice to current BCU students would include increasing your engagement with your lecturers and being proactive. The lecturers at BCU are very open and do their best to help individuals. They also have a huge amount of knowledge and experience to share, so ask questions and find out more about their time working in your chosen sector.

For fellow Quantity Surveying graduates, my advice is to have faith in your education gained from BCU and to use that to your advantage. Also, ensure that you have a good understanding of the relevant principles and career options available to you. Rejection from employers is normal, so don’t be discouraged as the right opportunity will come to you at the right time. Take each interview process as a learning curve and apply this newly found knowledge to your next interview. Finally, create good relations with everyone you meet, as each person has either a skill or experience you could learn from.

To me, I AM BCU means that I am proud to have graduated from such an established university. BCU provided me with the opportunity to learn about my chosen industry, as well as giving me support after I graduated. I am happy to have chosen BCU as the institution for my study and will continue to give back to support the future generations of Quantity Surveyors.”