From a young age, I had my heart set on a career in property and the built environment. I was raised in a family that was in the construction business, and I had a love for architecture and design.
I had always displayed an interest in the way buildings were designed and created, and how each individual process contributed to the final result. As an 18-year-old studying English and Art, I was encouraged to attend university full-time; however, I knew I would benefit more from working in a professional environment alongside my studies.
As a woman, I believed I was limited in the career paths I could take in the construction industry. Despite this, I was keen to research the opportunities that were available to me, and that is where I came across a degree apprenticeship with Assent Building Control. The description of the job and the responsibilities of a building control surveyor were exactly what I believed I could excel in.
Building control not only shapes the future of construction, but it also helps to improve the general public's safety, and it can make a real impact in society. As a young person excited for the future, that impact was something I wanted to contribute to.
After originally finding the opportunity online, I then attended an open evening for degree apprenticeships at Sheffield Hallam University. Here I spoke with Jane Keely, a director at Assent, and enquired as to what a typical day as a building control inspector involves.
From independently managing projects with a variety of clients, carrying out site inspections and analysing and checking construction plans, this was a career I knew I would enjoy. As an individual who enjoys a fast-paced work environment, interacting with the public and constantly developing my knowledge, the role of building inspector was particularly appealing to me.
The offer to study a degree while working for a professional building control company such as Assent was an extremely valuable opportunity that I was eager to take. I started with the company in September last year, and at the same time enrolled as a student at the University College of Estate Management (UCEM), an online university whose headquarters are based in Reading, to complete my BSc (Hons) in Building Control.
Within my first week as an apprentice, I was accompanying a senior surveyor on site, seeing first-hand the importance and responsibility that building control surveyors have.
Construction has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, although it did mean training sessions were virtual and communication was limited. Despite this, I am receiving extensive amounts of support and training from the team at Assent, for which I am very grateful.