Rebecca Whittaker

Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship – BSc

Rebecca knew she wanted a balance between learning and experience, a degree apprenticeship has offered her just that. Seeing theory put into practice has allowed Rebecca develop as a professional and find the career that’s right for her.

“I chose a degree apprenticeship as I wasn’t 100% on which career path was right for me, I decided that learning on the job would be the best way to decide what style of working and career suits me.

I applied to the Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship with Greene King. Once I’d been offered the role, I was automatically enrolled on the course at BCU. Not having to apply to both was great, once my paperwork was sorted, I was ready to get started at work and at university.

The degree apprenticeship route provides a good balance between learning and experience. I attend university one day a week and for the rest of the week, I’m at work. The work experience provides a better understanding of the modules being taught at university, and the modules being taught at university apply to my day-to-day role at work.

At first, I struggled meeting deadlines, however being an apprentice has helped better manage my time. I now make sure that I make the most of my time at university to complete my work. Sometimes, I use my evenings and weekends to do some wider reading or complete coursework, but this isn’t usually necessary, I have plenty of time at university to carry out work, so that when I get home it’s all completed for the week.

Even though I only attend university once a week, I feel very supported by my lecturers and know them well and I’ve been able to make friends both with other apprentices and full-time students at BCU, I still very much feel a part of the university.

My favourite thing about studying a degree apprenticeship is experiencing things from both sides, taking modules you have studied at university and the next week seeing the situation first hand has been great for my learning and progression. Without the work element of my degree, I wouldn’t have developed as much as a professional, knowing how to handle situations in real time and deal with them in an effective, professional manner is something you can only learn on the job.

I’ve learnt professional skills that will really help me in my future, such as appropriately responding to emails and phone calls, thinking from the client’s perspective and how to attend site visits.

After a year of working full time as a building surveyor I already knew it was the career choice for me. The work is really varied, sometimes I work from home and other times I’m out on-site visits, again this provides a great balance which it really suits me.

Once I’ve completed my degree I’ll be qualified as a full chartered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which means I’ll be able to continue working as a building surveyor and keep doing all the things I love about my job. One day, I hope to progress at work and look towards more senior roles such as property director.

I’m so happy I chose the apprenticeship route, the balance between learning and experience has been the best way for me to figure out my career and learn new skills.

To me, ‘I AM BCU’ means I am able to follow the career path I’ve chosen for myself.”