Chartered valuation surveyor Catherine Connolly says that the variety in her job keeps it interesting, and is looking forward to her year as YSCSI chair.
Catherine works in the valuation and advisory department of Cushman & Wakefield and says: “The part of being a valuation surveyor that I really enjoy is working in a fast-paced environment with the opportunity to work on some of the most high-profile properties across Ireland”.
Catherine is a graduate of the University of Ulster and has been almost six years with Cushman & Wakefield, which she says has a great graduate programme: “you get the opportunity to rotate to other departments, which helps graduates decide on which sector enables them to play to their strengths. I’ve had rotations across valuation and advisory, agency, and property management”.
Laying the foundations
Her first exposure to surveying was ten years ago: “I worked in a local surveying practice in Newry and I also completed a year-long work placement as part of my degree in CBRE in Belfast. Both of those experiences cemented my decision that this was the career I wanted to pursue and I would encourage other employers to offer students the same opportunity”.
Since becoming a Chartered Surveyor, she has been promoted to Senior Surveyor: “While it can be challenging at times, I find that overall, it’s really enjoyable and rewarding”.
The property market is ever changing, and this can make a valuation surveyor’s job challenging but also very interesting: “you need to keep up to date with an ever-evolving market. Especially in valuation where you work on a range of asset types like shopping centres, grade A offices, etc. A valuation surveyor does not specialise in one area, it is important to have knowledge of all sectors”.
Catherine has to keep an ear to the ground: “I work on a lot of fund valuations and it’s all about keeping up to date, talking to our agents, regularly interacting with my clients, and competitors, for any information that may affect our valuations … it is important to keep on top of all the current news in the property market, recent lettings and sales, what’s coming onto the market and any updates on
the developments happening in the city”.
An active member
Catherine is a very active member of the SCSI and is Vice Chair of the Young Surveyors Committee: “It’s been really beneficial to me professionally and socially. I get to meet a lot of people from all sectors within the profession, whether it be property surveyors, building surveyors or quantity surveyors. It’s a great opportunity for networking with your peers in other companies”.
She will become Chair of the YSCSI in May: “That’s going to be one of my objectives when I’m Chair, getting more young people involved with the YSCSI Committee. Another objective will be getting more interaction across the various sectors within the built environment, and help us to shape policy and
procedure from a young surveyor’s perspective”.
Journalist and sub-editor, Think Media