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Graduate stories: Project Director at McBains

Chris Moore graduated from our Building Surveying degree in 2005 and is now a Project Director at property and construction consultancy, McBains. We asked him about his time at Brighton, going on placement, what drew him to a surveying and some of the things he enjoys most about is career.

What made you choose the University of Brighton and this course? Did you have a particular career in mind at that stage?

I had already chosen the building surveying pathway as my career before applying to Brighton.   I chose Brighton as there seemed to be more practical work than other courses I looked at which attracted me. I remember being shown around the labs at the Moulescoomb campus on the open day with students demonstrating the practical work they were currently doing i.e cube tests and structural tests on materials etc.  I thought that was more interesting practical way of learning the modules that just sitting in the classrooms, and I didn’t see this at other universities I had visited.

I also chose Brighton due to the city, lively town centre, beach and general town which has a lot to offer. It was also circa 1.5 hours from home so not too far to get home!

Can you tell us about your placement?

I successfully applied to McBains Cooper (now McBains) and started my placement year at the Cavendish Square office before the company moved to Regents  Street, and now eventually Finsbury Sq.  the placement was good with a lot of variety of work and excellent colleague and good social side too.  I am still in touch with a lot of the team I and staff I met during my placement and some are even coming to my wedding in a few weeks time. I formed some excellent relationships during my placement year.

What were the highlights of your course?

I remember a few site visits to kick off the project and group work which was good as you really got a feel of what surveying was like. The mix of project work, working with a small team from other courses was also interesting.

What are you doing now? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I am still at McBains (!) having re-joined in 2005 after completing my degree. I have developed and worked my way up through the company over the years attained my MRICS chartered status in 2010.  I am now Project Director and have seen the team grow since my time at the company.

Why did you choose this particular field of work?

I had completed a weeks work experience in my penultimate year at school with a small building surveyor practice  in my local town, which gave me an insight into surveying.  I enjoyed the mix of site visits and office work, with every day being different working with different people on different projects and surveys.  I really enjoyed the weeks experience and chose to explore surveying further which led me to University and now my career choice.  My day to day work life now is, I’m pleased to say, fairly close to that weeks experience all those years ago which inspired me to go in to the profession.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety of work, good team members and the social side. Meeting new people, every job is different with different  challenges / characters which keeps thing interesting. Building relationships with people is also enjoyable as a lot of our work is repeat business.

Can you tell us about something you are particularly proud of in your career?

A project I was heavily involved with won the RICS London Award in 2008 having beaten some notable projects such as the re-build of St Pancras station

Would you recommend your course? What in particular would you recommend?

Yes. I would recommend the practical work.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for this course / this university?

Go and visit the university and spend time in the town to get a real feel of the place

What are your plans for the future?

To carry on with what I am doing really. I am aiming for promotion to company Director this year.

Stephanie Thomson • May 11, 2022


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