Serving in the University Officer Training Corps while studying a BSc (Hons) in Geography at Swansea University, George looked set for a career in the army before deciding to take a different path.
He has joined the Solomons apprenticeship programme as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor and will be based at our offices at Crooklands, near Kendal, as part of our Cumbria team.
How have you found it so far?
It’s been brilliant. I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of people in the business and learn about our projects. It’s also been great to have support from the apprentices who started 6 months before, as they’ve been through this and have shared useful advice and tips. It’s been full on with admin but that’s coming to an end, and I can’t wait to get working with my first client.
Tell us more about what you did before joining the apprenticeship programme?
I studied a degree in Physical Geography at Swansea University for 4 years. I served part time with the Army Reserves as part of the University Officer Training Corps, which is designed to give you a taste of what it would be like to be an army officer and help develop your leadership and team skills. After graduating I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Originally, my plan had been to go into the army, but there were sides to that which I didn’t like, so I started to look for opportunities closer to home in Milnthorpe. I spent 4 months as an outdoor instructor at Go Ape at Grizedale Forest, which helped me develop customer service skills and bought me some time to think about what I really wanted to do. After finishing there I concentrated my efforts on finding something, and then I came across the Solomons advert.
Why Quantity Surveying?
I have a family friend who was a Quantity Surveyor and he’s done really well for himself. His work has given him the opportunity to travel around the world. As a QS you really can work anywhere, so I was further drawn to Solomons when I saw they have projects all over the UK.
I came across so many adverts and job descriptions that were wishy washy and hard to understand and relate to when I was job hunting. The Solomons advert was completely different, it really stood out. Going onto the website and reading about the company and the projects it’s supporting was absolutely brilliant. I thought to myself “I want to be part of this!” Ever since the first interview, people have really wanted to get to know you as a person. You’re not a number. It’s all about building relationships, internally and with clients.
Now you’ve started the apprenticeship, where do you think you’ll get, do you have any targets?
Obviously, I want to succeed and become chartered in as short a time as possible. After that it’s about becoming an integral part of Solomons, build up my network in the North and the UK and do the company, and me, proud! I’m excited about the sustainable projects we’re supporting, such as windfarms, other renewable projects, and the North Sea Link (INSERT LINK TO BLOG). I’d also like to be there for the next generation of apprentices.
What do you do in your spare time?
I did a lot of climbing when I was at university and still do that now, along with bouldering. I also do a bit of clay pigeon and rifle shooting along with mountain biking up at Grizedale Forest and water skiing and wakeboarding in the summer. So, mainly outdoor adventure activities as you can see!