Claire Brown’s story

Course: MSc Building Surveying

Year of Graduation: 2017

Tell us about your time at UCEM

I chose UCEM for studying Building Surveying as I was leaving the Army, and wanted a study option which I could sustain alongside working full-time. Whilst this was undoubtedly an intensive way of making a career change into building surveying, it worked for me as I didn’t have to take on the financial risk of full-time study.

I was offered a place on the Savills graduate scheme shortly after starting my studies at UCEM, and was able to study the theory of building surveying in the evenings whilst learning about the practicalities of surveying during the day time. It was good being able to relate my studies to real-life situations, and to be able to ask my colleagues when there was something I didn’t quite follow in the course material.

Tell us about your experiences since leaving UCEM

Since leaving UCEM, I have passed the Assessment of Professional Competence and joined the RICS as a member. By studying with UCEM, I have been able to gain both the necessary academic qualification and the evidence for an APC submission in probably one of the fastest ways possible. From having zero knowledge or experience when I started studying in September 2014, I was a Chartered Building Surveyor by December 2017.

It’s been very hard work balancing all of my commitments over the past few years, but is has now paid off as I have a job I really enjoy and I can now progress within the career.

Tell us about the most interesting project you have worked on/ are most proud of

One of my most enjoyable recent projects has been a comprehensive survey of a rather special Grade II* Listed building in Watford. The project at Little Cassiobury House was commissioned by Watford Town Council with the help if funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund. We provided a full condition survey, measured drawings, repair schedules and a Conservation Management Plan to help support the next phase of the building’s conservation programme. I managed the multi-disciplinary project team and carried out some of the survey work.