This month, we are publishing the first in a new monthly blog series looking at individual student stories. The blogs will provide an opportunity to give current UCEM students the chance to tell their stories in their own words.
At the end of 2018, Mary Poppins returned to our cinema screens but working as a Nanny isn’t all singing and dancing as our Foundation Degree Surveying Practice student, Ranikque Hayden-Best, will attest. When Ranikque isn’t looking after children, she is busy studying to fulfil her ambition of becoming a Quantity Surveyor.
Here, she tells her story…
I live in Surrey and work as a Nanny. I am currently studying on the Foundation Degree for Quantity Surveying and I will be transferring to the BSc soon. I started my studies in early 2017 and I hope to graduate in 2020. I intend to eventually get a job alongside my studies as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor so I am able to use what I am learning in my work life.
I heard about UCEM when I was doing research as I was looking for a university that offered an online degree in Quantity Surveying. When I found UCEM and I started to read about what they had to offer, I was amazed as they ticked all the boxes with regards to what I was looking for. The flexible learning is great and having things online really makes it easier to fit studies around day-to-day life. Working 50+ hours a week can be tough but I find that UCEM structure the weekly tasks and activities in such a way that it all seems manageable. Also, the payment options are great and it makes it that much easier to manage especially as I am paying for it all out of my own pocket!
Prior to searching for a university, I had spent a good few days researching different career paths – I even spent a few days as an electrician and mechanic! I have always really loved seeing things come together and being part of the process. I enjoy actively being part of the process and also enjoy the admin side of things. I thought I should give this a try as I was loving everything I was reading and watching about the industry. I haven’t looked back since!
So far, the experience of online studying has been amazing. There have been times when I do wish I had someone to talk to face-to-face. I do sometimes find it hard; if I am struggling with something I wish I could ask the kids I look after but I doubt they would really be able to point me in the right direction! I must say the staff at UCEM have always gone the extra mile to make sure I stay afloat with my studies. It is really great to know they are there and I really do appreciate this. I have at times really struggled with preferred methods of communication from tutors but UCEM’s student services have always been there when I really felt I was alone.
I feel the lack of one-to-one communication with tutors is my biggest struggle. Again, especially with the industry I am currently working in, I do feel like things that other students understand, I don’t. I am a bit hesitant to ask questions in forums and webinars as I feel like I am holding others back and wasting their time and also, I am someone who understands a lot better with vocal communication. But with that being said, I somehow always manage to get through and if it wasn’t for the help and support from UCEM…goodness, I don’t know where I’d be!
The best thing about studying with UCEM is learning all the new things! I look at things so differently now! When I see buildings, my mind overflows with the thought of how much work has gone into them! Another great aspect of studying with UCEM is the discipline that it has taught me – financial discipline, mental discipline and also time discipline.
I honestly would encourage anyone interested to study with UCEM! Everyone goes above and beyond to be there and support students. The team are lovely and the self-investment certainly is worth it!
Studying with UCEM is up there with the highlights and most interesting experience of my career. I have learnt so much and the learning never stops! I feel a sense of accomplishment and very proud and privileged that I have been able to have this opportunity and the self-discipline to do something so amazing. I hope that one day I am able to inspire and motivate someone else to take this step. I am grateful for the support from my family, especially my parents and Granddad. Seeing them so proud of their (grand)daughter really gives me the extra push to continue to strive to do and be my best all the time!
* Update: Ranikque wrote the above in October 2018 but updated us in January 2019 about her progress.
I booked a week off nannying as I was very tired and had a sudden thought – ‘if you want something you don’t have, do something you’re not doing’. So I took it upon myself to find a placement local to me and volunteer as a Quantity Surveyor.
I was a tad hesitant as I hadn’t done anything like this before and it had been a while since I had been in an office environment. I had a meeting beforehand with the business owner and I expressed my wishes to eventually join the business if ever the opportunity came about.
I absolutely loved it! It was amazing to be able to use everything I had studied so far with UCEM in the real world! To top it off, after a few months, I started working in a paid job as a QS two days a week! So now I am able to be a nanny and a Quantity Surveyor!! I feel like the luckiest girl, and I thank UCEM for guiding me into this great opportunity.
If you would like to follow in Ranikque’s footsteps and begin, or continue, your journey in the Built Environment, visit our Study with UCEM webpage to see all our programmes.
If you are a current student and would like to tell your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea and our team will get back to you.