Philip Brown, Graduate Building Surveyor, London
Where did you study and what first attracted you to EC Harris?
For my undergraduate degree, I read Classical studies – a general combination of ancient history, ancient literature and archaeology. For my postgraduate degree, I studied Commercial Building Surveying. It was the scope of services, the size of firm and the variety of projects taken on by the firm that attracted me to EC Harris. It also gave me the ability to sidestep into different areas of the business later in my career.
What is your current role and what are its main responsibilities?
As a Graduate Building Surveyor, my duties include creating schedules of dilapidations, schedules of conditions, photographic surveys and damp surveys. This also involves integrating the responsibilities of a Built Asset Consultant and undertaking research projects on behalf of the Oil and Gas sector of EC Harris.
Talk us through what you might do on a typical day.
I undertake any type of survey on commercial or industrial properties or large residential developments. This includes liaising with clients and contractors, scheduling meetings, assessing a site for survey, actively undertaking the survey work and the write up or production of any particular project.
How has EC Harris supported your training and development?
There is a wealth of knowledge and experience at the firm which you can draw upon. You’re encouraged to get to grips with the job in a gradual and controlled manner. Training programmes are established which help you to work towards the APC – which is funded by the firm – and your progress is monitored throughout to ensure that you’re giving and getting the required amount from the process.
As we are considered to be Built Asset Consultants, not just Building Surveyors, we’re expected to develop a wide spread of knowledge over a wide variety of sectors. Research projects, supported by mentors, aid you in getting to grips with these new areas in which you can potentially gain expertise.
What qualities do you need to be successful at EC Harris?
In no particular order: integrity; common sense; the ability to communicate with a very wide variety of people; honesty; the ability to reflect on your own work – not to mention the ability to smile and have a laugh whilst maintaining professionalism.
What’s surprised you most about working at EC Harris?
The scope of services and driving ambition of the firm and those within it.
What are the most important/noticeable aspects of its culture?
If you want to know about something, wherever possible, people will find the time to explain something to you. We also socialise together on a regular basis which is particularly useful as you can occasionally learn more over a coffee or beer than you can over a meeting room table.
Have you enjoyed any social activities at EC Harris?
As I’ve only been here a short time, I’ve not had the chance to join any clubs. However, I have had the opportunity to socialise with colleagues over a drink in the office cafe and bar.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully fully Chartered and involved in some high profile projects, I’d also like to spread my wings a little more and get to know some of the other sectors within the business.