Sonal Halai Graduate Cost Manager, UK

Sonal Halai

After graduating with a degree in chemistry I joined Currie & Brown in September 2014, with the aim of becoming a chartered surveyor. As this isn’t an RICS-accredited degree, Currie & Brown sponsored me to undertake a two-year distance learning conversion course in quantity surveying, which I completed in 2016.

I have since enrolled on the Currie & Brown APC programme where I attend in house APC training sessions, receive 1:1 support from my supervisor, counsellor and an external APC coach and I undergo quarterly assessments.

The opportunity to gain practical experience at the same time as studying really enhances my understanding of quantity surveying.

There are many reasons why I decided to pursue a career as a quantity surveyor. Surveyors have a varied workload and are involved in tasks from preparing cost plans during the design development stage to carrying out contract administrative duties. This variety and the combination of office work and site visits is what attracted me to this profession. Surveyors are required to understand construction technology and develop expertise to help clients manage the cost implications of their designs. I enjoy learning about the built environment around me and there is a sense of achievement seeing the completed project that you have worked on in operational use. The integrated teams of architects, engineers and contractors that work on construction projects provide the opportunity to meet different professionals within the industry, and promote learning to keep up-to-date on new construction methods and innovative materials. It is important to have current knowledge of the industry to maintain the high professional standards required for chartered surveyor status. Becoming chartered will give me a professional status that is globally recognised. It provides a great opportunity to work abroad and recognises the high level of experience and advice offered by members of the RICS professional body.

I love the mixture of projects I work on. I’ve been exposed to the construction of residential developments, office complexes and television studios and sets. I really enjoy the variety in my daily tasks such as measuring from drawings to prepare cost plans; assessing the cost implication of variations; and visiting sites to do valuations. I am looking forward to visiting more sites and being able to see the construction of a building from start to finish.

I am so proud to be part of a highly experienced and supportive team at Currie & Brown who are always willing to help.