Workplace experience is a great way to learn
I am currently in my third year of studying Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University, which is a four year course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The third year of the course is a placement year which gives students the opportunity to go and work within the industry to gain essential experience and give an insight into the working life of a rural chartered surveyor.
In order to become "chartered," an Assessment of Professional Competency must be completed. This requires two years of structured work experience, training and assessment of which the placement year is considered as one of these years.
I approached Moule & Co to see if they would be willing to take me on for a placement year. Placement is the perfect opportunity to put the previous two years of studying into working practice allowing me to gain a greater understanding of the modules which I study at university.
I started my placement on July 1 at Moule & Co, a firm of rural chartered surveyors, rural business and planning consultants, filling the role of an assistant rural surveyor. Now into my third month I have already been involved in a wide variety of projects ranging from planning applications to compensation claims for utilities work.
In one particular project my diplomacy skills have been put to test! There have been some high tension situations in which I have had to communicate between the two parties to help defuse, put the client at ease and also find the best possible outcome to minimise disruption.
I am now into my 16th week of placement and throughout my time here I have been made to feel very welcome by all of the team. I find myself getting involved in lots of different tasks, all expanding my knowledge of the competencies required to become RICS accredited on the rural pathway, while honing my communication skills.
I will also able to give some thought to what I want to write my dissertation on in my final year of university as placement will allow me to find out what really interests me and whether there are any gaps in research which I could explore further.
I will be sad to finish my placement with Moule & Co in July next year but I know that I will be returning to Harper Adams in the September to complete the final year of my degree with invaluable experience and skills.
Olivia Meredith is a placement student rural surveyor with Moule & Co.
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