Staff stories

My journey to property: Vanessa Rothon

Sarah Gunn

Ahead of her APC, we spoke to one of our regional graduates, Vanessa, who is based in our Queen Square office in Bristol, about her experience as a young surveyor so far and what she hopes the next generation of the industry will look like.

Why did you choose to work in the property industry?

One of my main aims in getting a degree was ensuring that once I graduated I could start progressing into a career straight away. I initially wanted to become a civil engineer, however upon further research, I discovered the world of building surveying and was drawn to the large variety of opportunities that the role brings.

I also was attracted to the option for site and office based work, avoiding the sedentary lifestyle!

How did you choose the right company to work for?

I wanted to have a wide variety of projects whilst also having the support and guidance to undertake these from the get-go. Since starting at TFT in 2018, I am sure that I am in the best hands to help my career flourish!

What future challenges does a role in surveying face?

Interestingly, for my university dissertation, I looked at the barriers faced by women entering or those currently in the construction industry. I found that whilst there have been major improvements in the industry in recent years, there is still plenty of room for improvement!

One of the main issues is attracting more young people into the role, both male and female. During my school years, I had no encouragement to pursue a career in the construction industry nor did I know anyone within it, so it is just down to luck that I have found the career that I enjoy. It is also surprising how few people outside the industry actually know what the role of a building surveyor entails

So how do you think this could be improved?

I think that more information should be made available to young people on the large variety of roles that are available in the construction industry. I feel many people especially women may be sceptical to enter the industry due to several issues: stereotypes of what construction is (men working on site), flexible working, pay gaps etc. Whilst these issues are often mentioned and talked about, a message needs to be sent out that diversity and equality is the best it has ever been in property and continues to improve, so there is no reason why women shouldn’t enjoy a successful career within the industry.

What aspirations do you have for your professional future?

My first aim in the near future is to become a chartered surveyor. I would also love to get involved in more events encouraging young women into the industry of course!