Charles Rossington

Excelerate Graduate Quantity Surveyor (2017 intake)

"Excelerate gives you the opportunity to experience working and adjusting to a wide range of lifestyles and cultures."

Studied at (university/college): Liverpool University and Liverpool John Moores

Degree: Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management (MSc)

What attracted you to Sisk and the Excelerate programme?

The opportunity to develop my career by working for an established main Contractor in a wide range of sectors (Civils, Databases Residential etc.) on unique projects and in a variety of locations.

In no more than 20 words explain what Excelerate is?

A structured career development programme, which offers all of the necessary components to enable your rapid career progression and much more.

How did you find the recruitment process?

The assessment day was a tough experience, but it was an extremely fulfilling day having come through it successfully. It was a challenge, but I walked away from there and felt as though I had gained a lot from it, regardless of the outcome - although obviously I was thrilled with the outcome!

How are you supported through the programme?

We have all been assigned individual mentors as well as day-day managers who we directly report to, who are of a high profile within the company, I have found my mentor and managers have always been open to answering any questions (both work & non-work related) thoroughly and are understanding. The manager is there to guide you, challenge you and offer you advice whenever necessary. The mentor is a supportive member of staff who is a consistent person that you are able to reach out to throughout the scheme for general advice regarding work itself as well as the scheme and how it is helping you.

The regular workshops offer a brilliant opportunity to share experiences from site to site with the other graduates in the cohort, it also is a chance to demonstrate your understanding and progression from each workshop to the next. Additionally, this is an opportunity to ask any questions you may feel uncomfortable to do so on site. These workshops are delivered by high profile internal and external representatives with a vast array of experience.

Tell me in your own words what your best experience has been on the Excelerate programme to date?

Having the brilliant experiences of being able to work abroad with Sisk in both Ireland and Sweden and being involved with unique projects overseas for high profile clients, Excelerate gives you the opportunity to experience working and adjusting to a wide range of lifestyles and cultures. The Excelerate scheme really enables you to have a holistic view of the company.

I have appreciated these experiences greatly, and look forward to continuing to travel whilst working with Sisk. It has been interesting comparing the practices that I’ve seen take place in the UK that could be implemented abroad, and likewise with the practices I have seen in Ireland and Sweden which could be beneficial to the UK system.

Please describe in summary what your day / week looks like in your current / most recent placement you’d like to share?

I am on a small project in Dublin city centre, we are at the start of the on-site works with a tight two year programme in place in a restricted location which proposes many logistical challenges. I am new on to the project, and have been given some large packages to oversee and procure. We are aiming to have all packages procured prior to Christmas, whilst the groundworks take place. At present, much of the day is spent forming tender enquiries and comparisons then reviewing the bids and placing orders to be approved internally by the hierarchy. The intention is to ensure that the Sub-contractors are on board well in advance of their works taking place.

What have you found most challenging?

Carrying out the forecast and liabilities for works that took place prior to my arrival on site – this involves backdating and asking a lot of questions to get the required information.

Any tips for future applicants?

Enjoy the day as much as possible, as it is a tough process to get there. If you are successful with the online tests beforehand, you have already proven a large element of your competency. I personally found that talking with the other applicants and getting to know them helped, rather than hindered, my performance on the day as it makes you feel more at ease. Interaction with other people is key as you are showcasing yourself; whether you are talking with Sisk assessors, Sisk members of staff in the building, the current Excelerate graduates who come in to speak with you or the other applicants.

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