The ones to watch: the next generation representatives from around the UK

Claire Turnbull
Faithful+Gould is buzzing with activity from our next generation business development teams around the UK.

We are fortunate to have some of the most enthusiastic, creative and bright minds starting the early stages of their careers and supporting our senior leadership teams regionally and nationally. From raising our profile and networking, to corporate social responsibility and social value, I’ve been talking to representatives from the UK-wide NextGen groups to find out what they are getting up to and what their Faithful+Gould experience has been so far…

 

Following my graduation with a chemistry degree, having particularly enjoyed the problem solving aspects of the course, I decided to embark on a master’s degree in quantity surveying. I joined Faithful+Gould in March 2017 whilst finishing off my master’s degree and started on the graduate programme following my graduation in September 2017. I have since been involved in various opportunities and training schemes including being a STEM ambassador and winning the Faithful+Gould Young Professional of the Year award in 2018.

Since then, I have gained experience from a wide range of commercial property projects ranging from the construction and refurbishment of high street shops to hotels. I’m constantly expanding my knowledge of the industry.

Career aspirations: I am currently working towards RICS chartership and aim to sit my APC interview in November. The exposure Faithful+Gould has given me, in terms of project experience and opportunities including the UK NextGen Commercial Property Forum, has allowed me to gain the knowledge and experience needed to progress towards chartership.

UK Commercial Property NextGen: As part of the UK NextGen Commercial Property Forum I am currently involved in delivering two objectives. The first being to assist in raising the profile of the group, both internally and externally. I am currently working with fellow forum members to produce articles on current topics within commercial property. Secondly, I am assisting in the production of the Building Cost Guide, which is of interest to me, providing our clients an indication of the potential cost for various building types.

 So far, the UK NextGen Commercial Property Forum has allowed me the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from across the UK, sharing our ideas and experience within the industry.

My journey into building surveying started with a two-week work experience programme in secondary school with a local firm of surveyors. This is where I met Jenny Beilby, now Regional Director and office lead of Faithful+Gould Oxford. I visited several project site across Oxfordshire, and central London, and as a result, I developed an interest in pursuing a career in the industry.

I went on to study a RICS endorsed undergraduate degree at the University of Portsmouth with a primary focus on commercial property, planning, law, and asset management. For the first three years’ after graduating I worked for a national estate agency, sourcing tenants for premium properties in central Oxford. When my personal development in the role began to stagnate, I became aware that Faithful+Gould were recruiting for an Assistant Building Surveyor for their Oxford office and seized the opportunity.

Career aspirations: Having been with Faithful+Gould for a year and a half I am beginning to establish myself in the local industry and build a network of friendly contacts. I am heavily involved with the business development strategy for the office and assist with the running of a local networking group targeted at young professionals working in the construction industry (G4C). My long-term career aspirations include becoming chartered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

South West & Wales NextGen: I decided to join the region’s NextGen Forum to raise my profile within Faithful+Gould and engage with colleagues from other offices. It is a great platform for sharing ideas which I can bring back to the Oxford team to generate business for the office. 

In response to the West Region strategy ‘turning good into excellent’ we have three clear objectives. Those being: increase collaboration region-wide and nationally, raise the local profile and encourage activity to increase our social value offer to our clients. To meet these objectives, we have an internal and external communications plan reporting on the region’s key projects. Additionally, we have a series of corporate social responsibility activities planned where the team are utilising their employee benefit of sponsored volunteer days.

My career in the construction industry started initially as a civil engineer working for Atkins in Cardiff, however, I soon felt my skill set was better suited to the world of project management. In 2014, I transferred to Faithful+Gould as a Project Manager and began my master’s in construction project management.

As I gained more experience, I grew particularly interested in commercial property and immersed myself in all opportunities available in Cardiff. Wanting to gain a more varied experience of working on larger commercial property projects, I relocated to the Faithful+Gould London office in 2018 where I work primarily on commercial office and urban regeneration.

I am currently project managing the regeneration of a 121-acre site on behalf of U+I. This masterplan will include strategic road and utilities infrastructure, 5,600 homes, one million square feet of commercial and retail space, a hotel and two schools, together with extensive blue and green public realm. The masterplan will unlock a wider development in line with the council’s Area Action Plan to create over 8,600 homes over 20 years and up to 24,000 jobs.

Career aspirations: I have recently attained my chartership status and I am looking forward to gaining further experience. I aspire to be a leading professional within the commercial property/ urban development industry.

UK Commercial Property NextGen: I joined the UK Commercial Property NextGen Forum when I moved to London in 2018. Of our six key objectives I am involved with the following two:

  • Firstly, I am supporting the senior management team with key account management. I particularly enjoy learning the process of identifying and engaging with the key pursuits.
  • Secondly, I am helping to promote the business by organising two NextGen led events. The aims being to promote Faithful+Gould along with growing my personal network within the commercial property sector.

I joined Faithful+Gould’s Nottingham office in 2014 as a Graduate Project Manager following completion of a BSc in Construction Management at Nottingham Trent University.

As part of my degree course I completed a year placement with a contractor but didn’t find it to fit my career aspirations which is what brought me into consultancy. I applied to join Faithful+Gould’s Graduate Programme and was successful.

When I started in the Nottingham office, I was given a wide variety of opportunities to work in different sectors including health, commercial property, local authority and blue light. Nearly five years on, I have worked on a variety of projects which has given me an insight into the sectors I enjoy working in such as health and blue light.

Career aspirations: My aspirations for the future are to continue to grow my understanding of the various facets of my role, but I would also like to progress longer term into a more senior role within the business as I wish to use the skills I have gained in my current role to manage a team internally.

Nottingham NextGen: I am leading the Nottingham office’s Next Generation Business Development group which was established to help progress the careers of younger and/or less experienced members of the office. The team attends local industry events to get experience in networking and also are involved in the production of bid submissions. One of our key objectives this year is driving and encouraging local social media activity for events and projects we have been involved in.

Additionally, a second objective is to lead and support corporate social responsibility activity for the office charity, Nottinghamshire Hospice. Our goal is to raise £1,000 and donate 150 hours of time to the charity over the course of the year, enabling us as a business to give back to the local community.  

In 2013 after completing my degree at Liverpool John Moores University I joined Faithful+Gould’s graduate development programme which is a three-year programme that provided a platform to develop my technical and soft skills in the work place.

I took an immediate interest in commercial property and was fortunate enough to gain experience across a range of projects within this sector including a £13m student residential scheme, £2m office refurbishment and an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment programme on a supermarket chain.

Becoming chartered through the RICS was a huge milestone in my development and a pivotal point in my career. I am now one of the leading cost managers on the iconic £330m restoration and upgrade of Manchester City Council’s Town Hall, a project with huge community interest.

Career aspirations: Over the coming years I am looking to expand on the knowledge and experience I have already gained and develop my career within the business. Faithful+Gould is great at helping develop its staff. Last year I was put forward for a year-long programme called the ‘Management Development Programme’ which is a series of courses designed to develop your management and leadership skills which has enhanced my leadership and communication skills.

UK Commercial Property NextGen: In 2018, I joined Faithful+Gould’s UK Commercial Property NextGen Forum which focuses on developing our skills and areas of interest within commercial property. The forum broadens our exposure to senior members of the business and their client networks. I now have a mentor from this forum who I meet up with every month and discuss career goals, aspirations and activity that interests me within the sector.

A group objective is to produce thought leadership articles related to commercial property. As part of the Our Town Hall project we are undertaking the M-Futures apprenticeship scheme which has enabled me to engage with apprentices that are considering their next move in both their education and career. From this I have developed an understanding of what encourages them, and I believe we could use the thought leadership articles to provide alternative insights into subjects that could engage students in a non-traditional way.

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