Richard Kumah graduated from the University of Salford with an MSc in Quantity Surveying in 2015. Now working an assistant quantity surveyor for Catalyst Housing, Richard explains how his experience at the university has helped him to achieve career success.
"I worked in quantity surveying for a few years after my undergraduate degree, but then switched to logistics and spent four years in that role. I really wanted to get back into QS, but I’d been out of the profession for so long I needed to bring myself up to speed with how things had progressed and get that knowledge."
"What I loved about the University of Salford’s course was how compact it was, but at the same time broad in the amount of content it covers. A masters isn’t like an undergraduate degree where you get spoon fed; the topics are introduced to you and you have to go and do your own research. The delivery in that sense is brilliant, it’s very interactive with lots of opportunities to debate on various topics and theories of interest. The lecturers are there to guide you through the process so you can come up with your own solutions, not just tell you what the solution is."
"Because the lecturers all have such a diverse range of experience, they're all able to give practical examples from their own professional careers. They come from a background of public sector and private sector, sometimes both, so they’re able to really illustrate how things work and make it much more real. The lecturers really do make a difference; they’re always there to help and always have time for you."
"I was also given the opportunity to complete a two-week work-experience project with BAM Construction. The university held a recruitment event where several major construction companies presented, and we could compete for placement opportunities. Bam had three vacancies, and after a three-stage interview process I was selected to take part. It was a two-week placement, but we covered a huge amount in the time we had: QS duties, value engineering, condition based risk assessment, comparative analysis of tender packages costs… It was short but very full. I also found my own placement with Kier, and again it really helped with putting what I was studying into practice."
"I strongly advise any students to take up placement opportunities, they really put you ahead in the job market. The university gives you those opportunities, it’s up to you to take them. I graduated with distinction, and the 2014/2015 award for the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyor’s prize in MSc Quantity Surveying within the School of the Built Environment, so they really help with your studies as well."