A day in the life of Tom, our trainee QS...

6th February 2020

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do after I finished sixth form. I studied BTECs in Business Studies and Engineering, which left my options pretty open. A lot of people seemed obsessed with leaving home to go to university, but it’s never something that appealed to me! The debt seemed daunting, and though I’d like the qualifications, I wanted to leave the feeling of being at school and college behind. I wanted to work and get my foot in the door of the real world. I’ve always learnt best with a hands-on approach, and therefore wanted to find some pathway that could allow me to do both.

I’d applied to a few trainee positions around the Midlands when I came across IDP, a multidisciplinary construction consultancy which caught my eye. On the careers section of their website, they stated that they’re always looking for ‘enthusiastic, new talent, with training opportunities for career development.’ I sent across an email, and was soon on the phone to one of the Directors, having an informal chat about what I wanted to do with my career. Everybody was very friendly and helpful, and after a few more conversations and an interview, I ended up being offered a job at the company. They offered this alongside a BSc undergraduate degree in Construction Management at Coventry University (a 5-minute walk from IDP), which would be supported financially by IDP! It was pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

Working with IDP is brilliant because it allows me to learn at university and gain professional practice, making for a more well-rounded development in the industry. Not many people on my course are able to get the kind of experience I get whilst working at IDP, let alone earn money whilst they attend uni. I don’t get menial jobs – I get hands on experience and feel like I’m making a real difference which benefits both me and the company, in areas such as Project Management and Cost Consultancy. My peers and mentors are super supportive throughout this, and help guide me through the tasks in hand. I love being able to apply what I learn at university to my workplace, and vice versa. Both offer the perfect mix of environments to get the most out of my career.

I’ve only been here for 6 months, but I’m already excited about what the future holds for me. By the end of university, I’ll be fully qualified with an undergraduate degree, I’ll have a fantastic job with 3 years of real-life experience, and I won’t have any student debt. If that’s not the best of both worlds, I don’t know what is!

-Tom Singleton