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My first year at JPC: tough challenges, proud moments

12th February 2020 |

Quantity Surveyor Sam Bendall-Weeks reflects on what he’s learned during his first year of working at John Perkins Construction.

My project of the year

The new sixth form centre at The Corsham School was my first big job with John Perkins Construction. It was my first new build project and my first job over £1m.

In my previous job, I’d only ever worked on refurbishment projects. On the Corsham project, the feeling was completely different. We started from nothing and built up. Seeing the building come out of the ground, I felt a huge sense of pride.

My biggest challenge

The Corsham School sixth form centre

The Corsham School’s Sixth Form Centre

There are always fraught moments in construction and having people shout at you over issues beyond your control is never fun. My biggest challenge has been learning how to manage expectations in tough situations.

My greatest learning experience

I learned a huge amount from Alex and Rupert about how to find solutions in complicated circumstances. I saw, from a director level, the right way to get to the facts when there’s a problem. Finger-pointing is never helpful. Instead, I’ve learned to ask, “How are we going to fix this?”

I know not every company would choose to include me in high-level discussions. I’m grateful that I get to work closely with the directors and learn from them.

My biggest surprise

I’d say my biggest surprise was being assigned as the QS on the Corsham project so early in my tenure at JPC. It was a great feeling to know that the directors had full confidence in my ability to deliver a project for a brand new client.

What I’m looking forward to in the year ahead

It’s great to be going back to The Corsham School, where we’re embarking on Phase 2 of the sixth form centre. I’ve been involved in pricing and cost planning, and it really feels like I’m able to take on a leadership role.

Where I see myself in five years’ time

I’d like to be a Commercial Manager at some point in my career, and then see where that takes me. It’s inspiring to see how quickly Alex has been able to move up within the company, and I’d like to follow a similar path.

Working at a company where I can progress is the reason I moved to John Perkins Construction. The move has already paid off. I’ve come on leaps and bounds in the past year – and I know the next year will be even better.

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