As part of the Surveying the Future campaign, we meet Mihir Vaja, a building surveyor with Rider Levett Bucknall.
Tell us about your pathway into surveying. Did you study an accredited course at university?
My route into the surveying world was a direct one. During the study of a RICS accredited BSc Building Surveying degree at Nottingham Trent University, I took a year out to get some hands on industry experience. The year out was invaluable to getting my head around a lot of the theoretical knowledge that I was exposed to at university and also helped to break down misconceptions about real-life building surveying. I made the most of the year out by enrolling on to the APC process early and starting to record my day to day experience. After graduating with a First Class and an RICS Best Dissertation award, I picked up from where I left off and carried the momentum through to qualify as a Chartered Building Surveyor.
How did you find out about your current employer?
Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) were a familiar organisation to me since my university days from reading RICS and industry literature and press. I was always impressed with the professional image RLB portrayed and quite liked the concept of the RLB Protégé graduate scheme which reminded me of Sir Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice TV series. It was not until I delved deeper into researching RLB that I learned about the vast range of staple and landmark projects and services that were being delivered in many sectors worldwide, mirrored by satisfied clients and excellent employee kudos. When I came across a vacancy to join the London Building Surveying team at RLB, I jumped at the opportunity.
What do you like most about surveying?
There are many facets to why I like surveying. As a building surveyor, I feel in control of my work and have the opportunity to deliver an incredible range of projects and services, work with a great mix of people and marvel at the impact of the work my team delivers. Furthermore I noticeably learn and develop universal skills on a daily basis which I can apply to propel myself forward both professionally and personally. Ultimately, it is a profession which I find flexible, varied and rewarding.
How did it feel to pass your APC and become chartered?
Relief, pride and the feeling of being excited to go to work are the three emotions I explicitly recall feeling after reading the ‘Congratulations’ email from RICS. Speaking to fellow friends and colleagues, the hard work, stress and mixed emotions that all candidates go through during the ‘short’ APC process tend to amalgamate into the sole connotation that passing the APC is the means to an end. It is not until passing that you realise it is just the beginning and opens an array of opportunities for a career in surveying.
Would you recommend a career in surveying to young people?
Yes. For people who like flexibility, control and choice, it is a great career to pursue. It can pay well too.
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