Lauren Harries

Quantity Surveyor

"I am currently working on the Track Partnership Project between Balfour Beatty Rail and London Underground."

Lauren first joined Balfour Beatty in 2009 on a summer placement as part of her BSc in Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying. This led to Lauren undertaking two summer placements, plus a one year placement -  as she decided that the experience she was gaining supported her academic studies and long term career aspirations. Graduating with a 2:1, Lauren was successful in obtaining a place on our Graduate Technical Scheme in Balfour Beatty Rail as she plans to fulfil her aspiration of becoming a Quantity Surveyor.

Tell us a little about your role, the project you are supporting and the type of work you undertake on a daily basis.

As a Quantity Surveyor in Balfour Beatty Rail, I am currently working on the Track Partnership Project between Balfour Beatty Rail and London Underground. The project is fundamentally the renewal of existing railway infrastructure on the Underground network. My role therefore entails forecasting and managing the costs of several sub-projects both pre and post construction, along with subcontractor management. I engage on a daily basis with delivery teams to capture any information that could influence the costs of each sub-project. I also work with various subcontractors to manage their payment process.

What attracted you to Balfour Beatty?

Working for a multinational company always appealed to me as it provides the opportunity to work in various locations and on a wide range of projects. Balfour Beatty is also one of the top contractors in the UK, and provides the variety of work and experience I seek from a career. Applying to one of the Group's undergraduate placement schemes seemed the perfect choice for me.

What development opportunities have you been given whist in your role?

Having the support of Balfour Beatty whilst studying at university definitely helped to bridge the gap between academic learning and on-site experience. Throughout my placements with Balfour Beatty Rail I have been exposed to several different projects and departments, in numerous locations. My willingness to be flexible has definitely given me invaluable experience and developed my knowledge significantly in such a short space of time.

How has Balfour Beatty played a role in your long term career goals?

Balfour Beatty gave me ongoing academic support through undergraduate placements. Since I graduated they have continued to support my long term career goals by helping me through my APC training to become a Chartered Surveyor, which will ultimately prove my competence in this role and help with career progression.

What has been your highlight so far at Balfour Beatty?

The biggest highlight was going on-site and working with the delivery team to get the work finished and completed on time. There was great sense of achievement in doing this and the experience gave me an appreciation of how everyone works together, both on-site and behind the scenes in the office, to make this happen. Plus, on each placement, my colleagues have been very welcoming and made my training and work life brilliant! There are plenty of social events that everyone gets involved in. Because of this, the colleagues I have met have also been a major highlight of my time so far at Balfour Beatty.

What one thing surprised you most about working for Balfour Beatty?

Working at large multinational company, there is often the fear that you can become another number - one of many other employees. At Balfour Beatty this isn’t the case; there is a great community atmosphere. Employees are friendly and supportive and the company has a great ethos. Sometimes it is easy to forget how large the company is due to its personal touch, making going to work more enjoyable.

What are the top three tips you would give to anyone thinking of applying to Balfour Beatty?

  1. Do your research and make sure Balfour Beatty is the right company for you – if you are interested in a range of experience across numerous projects and departments and not daunted about the prospect of moving locations then Balfour Beatty is for you!
  2. Try and gain relevant experience – no two days are the same, there is a wide variety of work and each day presents different tasks and challenges; this will help determine if the diverse on site and office job is suited to you. Balfour Beatty see you as their potential for the future, therefore don’t be scared to ask for development and exposure to new things.
  3. Be yourself in your application – Balfour Beatty employ people who are enthusiastic, confident and interested in embarking on an exciting and rewarding career. Avoid submitting a generic application and make it specific to Balfour Beatty by focusing on your unique and relevant qualities. If you feel your characteristics and personality are similar with this multinational company, I am confident that by being yourself, you will be part of the team in no time.
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