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My Career journey as a Quantity Surveyor in Construction

Alice Graham, Senior Quantity Surveyor at Faithful + Gould.

Cambridge, England.

My name is Alice Alice Graham and I am a Senior Quantity Surveyor. In my role, I undertake Cost Management of construction projects, and look after commercial matters through the lifecycle of delivering projects.

This involves a range of activities including helping the client set a budget, dealing with contractor payments and monitoring costs to ensure the project budget is not exceeded!!

School Days

I was born in Malawi and moved to the UK, to Scotland when I was 10 years old. At school, I did various subjects and eventually focused on Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, and Maths because I originally wanted to be a doctor. I also did Business Studies and Economics. I was quite good at economics, and I got the award for the best mark for the subject in our school when I completed my Scottish higher exam in my last year of school.

These 2 subjects remain highly relevant to my role now as a Quantity Surveyor! From my Business Studies, I learned the importance of being commercially aware of how the business I work in operates. From studying Economics, I began to understand the importance of following micro and macro economic trends that are impacting global construction supply chains which has a significant impact on Quantity Surveyors and the advice we give to clients.

When I finished my Scottish Highers (A levels in England), I didn’t get the grades I needed to do medicine. Consequently, I needed to find an alternative plan for my future career. I picked Quantity Surveying because when I did my research, someone advised me that it provided global career prospects of being able to work anywhere in the world especially if I became a chartered surveyor with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Following on from this, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Quantity Surveying by undertaking an RICS accredited Quantity Surveying BSc degree. I went to Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and studied quantity surveying for 4 years. During this time, I participated in various activities outside of the main curriculum and had several work experience placements with Quantity Surveying firms to learn more about the working environment. I also had a 3-month work placement with a firm in Leeds working on local authority education projects.

"Whilst it may be difficult to get a placement, I would advise future candidates to invest in work experience during summers so they can have a competitive advantage over other graduates when applying for graduate roles."


When I graduated in 2018, I joined Faithful+Gould as a Graduate Quantity Surveyor. During my time at Faithful+Gould, I have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic schemes in the private and public sectors! These have included a school refurbishment, a new build office as the lead Quantity Surveyor, a highways project, lab office and fit-out, and many others.

I have also had the opportunity to work on national projects such as a large UK bank and delivering work as a Cost Manager across their UK property portfolio which includes their branches offices and even ATMs! In June 2021, I passed my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and became a chartered Quantity Surveyor and a member of the RICS. In April 2022, I was promoted to my current role as a Senior Surveyor! I have had immense support from various mentors and sponsors within my organisation and outside of it.

"Overall, I can say I have had a very positive experience in the profession and industry to allow me to progress in my career."

Outside of project work

Outside of my project work, I am a STEM Ambassador with the STEM ambassadors Programme. This aims to promote the uptake of science, technology, engineering, and maths-related careers by young people. As part of this role, I participate in various activities where I talk about the quantity surveying profession.

I have also put a group together to help support other black women who are in or coming into the quantity surveying profession.

In recognition of my technical project work and my extracurricular activities, I have received recognition through various awards. In 2021, I was recognised as the Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) awards winner of the best Quantity Surveyor!

I have also been awarded at the inaugural Black Professionals in Construction (BPIC) awards as a rising star award winner. Within my company as well, I have received the president’s award for the work that I have done in my career to date.

"I am still learning and growing in my journey and excited for what the future holds."

In terms of project work, I am excited to continue working on different projects and to grow my technical skills and abilities. For the extracurricular things I do, I hope to continue making a positive contribution toward diversifying our industry’s talent pool. All that said, I have become more aware of the importance of prioritising my mental health and well-being as I pursue future endeavours. I would highly recommend for everyone to do the same, and to avoid burnout so you can enjoy a sustainable and fruitful career in the Construction Industry.

LinkedIn: Alice Graham MRICS

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