Jahid Ali-Khan

Building Surveying - BSc (Hons)

A diligent and ambitious final year student on track to achieve a First Class classification in BSc (Hons) Building Surveying this summer, Jahid has gained a plethora of valuable skills during his time at Birmingham City University and on his micro-placement scheme. He tells us how education and the correct attitude will get you to where you want to be - an accomplished professional within industry.

“I always wanted to go to university since I was a teenager as it was one of my main aims and I have achieved this which is an amazing feeling. Coming from a family who have never been to university, and to be able to follow my desire in eventually becoming a Surveyor, made me feel extremely motivated and proud.

I chose to study Building Surveying as I wanted to help buildings stand as long as possible and to preserve landmark structures - keeping theses monuments alive; becoming a Surveyor would allow me to do this. I love the idea of implementing technology into the construction industry; knowing I can be an important part of such an evolving sector gives me great satisfaction.Whilst I was abroad in Turkey, I discovered the Hagia Sophia with its limitless curves, facets and architecture which really fascinated me. This developed my passion for buildings and led me to research further into the construction industry. Why I chose to study this course at Birmingham City University is because it has brand new state-of-the-art facilities and lots of development going on within the Birmingham area. This meant there would be huge potential for the sector I wanted to study in. I researched these major projects that were about to unravel in Birmingham and I knew that this was the city for me. From the implementation of HS2, to the eastside site of the University, Birmingham is now becoming one of the United Kingdom’s hotspots for property development and infrastructure.

The University funded a trip for me to go away to Copenhagen to see the zero-carbon building structures they are developing and the general ergonomics. This allowed me to explore sustainable development and the type of construction that is taking place in different countries. I attended a variety of construction events whilst I was in Copenhagen which allowed me to be a representative of BCU, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Networking has helped me accomplish so much: through discovering world leading consultancies and meeting other likeminded individuals in the building sector. Through effective communication and confidence, this has allowed me to discover surveying companies that I never knew of, who have introduced me to building consultancy agencies, which I can then utilise after graduation.

BCU also supported me on my micro-placement scheme allowing me to gain further industry experience. I secured this placement at an industry leading company in London, Cushman & Wakefield, making lifelong companions and further enhancing my current skillset which I will forever be grateful for.

In addition to the experience I have gained during my placement year, I have also obtained a variety of key skills through my course in AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit and Microsoft Office software. With a passion for Revit and AutoCAD design in my spare time, as well as my interest in Facadism, I believe this has helped me enhance my software knowledge. My passion for problem solving and the satisfaction I gain from rectifying an issue is part of the reason I wish to pursue a career as a Building Surveyor. My skills within building pathology have been developed through employment and my time at uni. I enjoy diagnosing defects and finding ways to resolve problems, allowing buildings to be accomplished or further developed.

Despite thoroughly enjoying studying at university and acquiring all of these new skills and experiences, there are inevitable challenges. The most notable one I have faced has been difficulties on my course when I haven’t fully understood something as well as I’d like to. Overcoming this challenge was alleviated when I communicated consistently with lecturers and gained their expertise where possible; this helped me understand modules and to develop my problem solving skills. This is partly the reason why I’m on track to receive a First Class Honours this summer. The other challenge is working a part-time job alongside studying at uni whilst pushing myself to produce the best work possible. This can be stressful at times to balance the two together. However, it has enhanced my organisational skills, the ability to adhere to tight deadlines and to work well under pressure as I’ve had to adapt to this mode of working.

Although it is a challenge to balance a part-time job and uni, I’ve loved every minute working as a student ambassador for my faculty, as it has enabled me to help individuals make their next choices on their educational journeys. Working on a variety of events has allowed me to help enquirers as they start to look at what course they want to do and what industry they may go into. Being a part of someone’s progress and having the ability to provide my experience to them, gives me great satisfaction.

Furthermore, I have transformed from an enthusiastic student to an educated professional; creating permanent connections and building valuable working relationships with people in industry: from Quantity Surveyors to Project Managers. I have also developed my business acumen by getting a job and increasing my knowledge through learning new skills and ways to generate income, having a real entrepreneurial approach in my thought process. I strongly believe that education and a positive attitude is the foundation to any success.

Upon completion of my degree, I will be starting my new graduate position at a reputable company to provide excellent service and support though the APC process, which I am really excited to start! This will help me achieve my goal to become a RICS accredited Chartered Building Surveyor and to support others in ensuring that both historical and contemporary buildings are sustained. I have always admired architecture and construction of all buildings.

For me, ‘I AM BCU’ allows everyone from different backgrounds to come together to make a difference. Birmingham City University has helped me to develop enthusiasm in my work, allowed me to become an educated professional within industry and has made me feel included through its supportive network.

‘I am BCU’ incorporates passion, respect and guidance to push students to be the best version of themselves.”

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