30th April 2024
My BE Career: Trude Trickey

This article was first published via BE News in April 2024.

Name: Trude Trickey

Job title: Quantity surveyor and employers agent, Rund

What I do: I work as a quantity surveyor and employers agent at Rund in the Bristol office.

Why I got into the property industry: From a young age, I have always been interested in buildings and the wider built environment. I wanted to work in an industry where I can have a positive impact on where people live and spend their time.

How I did it: I took the higher education route and studied quantity surveying and commercial management at the University of the West of England. From there, I was able to break into industry through a graduate placement year, which led to more job opportunities afterwards.

My first proper job: My first job was my placement year at Arcadis. I applied through a graduate website and remembered going through a few different rounds of interviews, so it felt competitive. It was a good start for me where I mainly worked within the nuclear decommissioning sector.

My first big break: Joining Rund felt like my first big break, I have been given the confidence and support to take on large, complex jobs. It was the step up that I was craving, and I feel like I am working on some career defining projects that I am really proud of.

My inspiration(s): As a runner, I am inspired by ultra-marathon runners and the wider running community. The perseverance, focused mindset, and discipline it takes is inspirational, while also having the ability to still have fun during the process. I take this through into my career and try to apply the same qualities to my own work and career as a quantity surveyor and employers agent.

The biggest challenge I’ve encountered to date: I originally studied law, so changing career direction felt daunting and like I was starting again, so this was a big challenge, but it was the right decision for me and I am so glad I did. Not knowing anyone on a personal level who I could talk to and ask questions also made the journey to where I am today that bit more of a challenge. My family and friends do not work in construction, so everything was new and it took a while for me to find my feet. It feels like there is a lot more information and support available now even in the short time since I started, which is great to see.

My greatest achievement/proudest moment to date: Career-wise it was being awarded my first class degree, and being the first generation of my family to go to university. The final few years of my degree were spent during the Covid-19 pandemic, which only added to the challenges. On a personal note, it was running my first marathon when I was 18. It took a lot of discipline and determination to train for it, but it was an amazing achievement. It was the London Marathon and I raised lots of money for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The biggest misconception people have about the property industry: That roles in construction are limited to on-site and physical labouring. I think this is the case, especially for a lot of younger people, who have this misconception that property and construction is all cranes and diggers. The truth is that there is so much variety and breadth of roles in the sector, including site-based and office roles.

My biggest bugbear about the industry/the one thing I would change about the industry: The fact that as an industry we haven’t quite succeeded in promoting the different roles and diversity of those roles in the wider public domain. My personal experience is that most people outside the industry don’t typically understand what I do. I hope this can change as greater awareness is a positive step to helping more people enter the sector.

Why I’m so passionate about DE&I: Women are still fewer than men in the industry, so it is great when I see companies speak out about attracting more women to consider a career in construction. It is also a reason I am passionate about it. For me, it is important to be seen and doing a great job, so that other people like me can also see themselves in these types of roles. I think now is a really interesting time for the construction industry and it’s good to see that DE&I is being placed more at the forefront of important conversations, with more people from diverse backgrounds considering it as a career option.

Where I’d like to be in five years’ time career-wise: I am working towards becoming a chartered quantity surveyor, which I hope to have achieved within the next year. This is an important milestone I am excited to reach. In general though, I hope to continue developing in my role and take all opportunities given to me. At Rund, I have already progressed quickly, and I am looking forward to what’s next. In five years, I would also like to have progressed in my goal to encourage more women into the industry, as well as those from social-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It is a real passion of mine and I think it’s important it give something back to those who have helped mentor me and to use the skills that I’ve learnt to help mentor and advise others.

Who I’d invite, living or dead, to a dinner party: Jay Shetty, Kelly Holmes, Ed Sheeran, Mary Earp, Mo Farah, Ben Francis and Vincent Van Gough. I could probably think of more, but I think that what’s so inspiring about these people is that they’ve all overcome adversity to become successful within their own fields and professions.

What I do in my downtime: As you can tell by now, I love running! I also enjoy meeting with my friends and going out for sushi. I love to travel and was lucky enough during my time at university to spend two summers working at a camp in America. I still continue to attend camp reunions in different parts of the world most summers.

The job I’d be doing if I was not doing this: I think I would have tried to preserve in a legal/law profession. While I think construction is a better fit, I still enjoy aspects and feel like the role that I have at Rund still enables me to utilise some of my legal knowledge.

My advice for someone just starting out: Explore all options and take advantage of your careers team while at school. There is no one route into construction and there’s also a multitude of different roles, professions and businesses within the industry. The widespread introduction of T Levels, apprenticeship routes and higher education make it a really inclusive environment for everyone to discover what’s best for them. Finally, enjoy the process, don’t be afraid to change your mind if something doesn’t feel right and take your time to find what is right for you.

My motto/mantra: By preserving, keeping consistent, surrounding yourself with the right mentors and following your passion, you can achieve anything. I also love this quote by CS Lewis: “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destination”.

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