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AECOM’s Qabilah Abramjee receives prestigious awards

AECOM’s Qabilah Abramjee receives prestigious awards

 July 10, 2019

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Qabilah Abramjee recently joined AECOM as a Candidate Quantity Surveyor based in the Pretoria office in South Africa. Qabilah recently graduated from the University of Pretoria after studying for a BSc in Quantity Surveying and then a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.

At the annual University of Pretoria departmental prize giving ceremony, Qabilah was the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including Best Honors Quantity Surveying student, the Bell John Prize for best achievement in any year of study, and the University of Pretoria academic honorary colors.

AECOM careers trophy

Trophy that was awarded to Qabilah for the best student in BKR 700 (Building Cost Estimation)

Qabilah also received University of Pretoria nominations for the DJ Laing Scholarship for student with exceptional academic performance nationally and the ASAQS Gold Medal for the best Quantity Surveying student nationally.

AECOM graduation celebration

Qabilah at a graduation celebration party

When asked what drew her to AECOM, Qabilah explains that she was attracted to AECOM’s global presence, and its amazing projects. “My experience at AECOM has been fantastic. The company culture is welcoming and diverse. Senior managers are really approachable, and incredibly willing to provide assistance and advice. In the short time I have been with the company, I have already experienced a site visit, team building exercise, corporate social responsibility event and wellbeing event.”

AECOM cycle challenge

Qabilah participating in an AECOM cycle challenge event

No two projects are ever identical

Qabilah explains that she chose to undertake a degree in the built environment because of the tangible outcome of projects, and the fact that no two projects are ever identical as each one comes with its own challenges and opportunities.

“I was further drawn to a career in Quantity Surveying by the opportunity to experience a corporate environment, whilst still being able to attend site visits,” says Qabilah.

A day in the life of a Candidate Quantity Surveyor

“My role involves all measurement and cost related components throughout a project’s lifecycle i.e. from inception to close out. I help prepare procurement documents, put together price determination documents, and review tenders.”

Qabilah explains that she also advises Project Managers on the selection of tenderers. “As I develop and gain more experience, I will get involved with financial feasibly studies, site visits, preparing valuations, and cost reporting.”

AECOM colleagues

Qabilah and her AECOM colleagues

When asked what she enjoys most about her role, Qabilah explains that: “I enjoy the fact that my deliverables are all directly linked to the cost management of projects. Some of the work that I do gets done ‘behind the scenes’ as it were, but a lot of it requires interaction with clients and issuing the documents I have prepared to them.”

AECOM has rigorous quality measures and review processes in place to ensure that the standard of work is maintained. I have been exposed to and already started mastering software which makes completing certain aspects of work much more efficient than it was at University.”

The world of work

When asked about transitioning from university life to the world of work, Qabilah explains that: “the culture, magnitude of projects and levels of responsibly are all vastly different from school. School really set the foundation for my professional life, however things at work don’t always run as smoothly as they do in theory. Sometimes something unforeseen might occur, which requires a different skillset in order to manage the situation.”

“The impact of the work that I do also extends far beyond the consequences of performance levels at school. Producing high quality work is of vital importance. Unlike a bad grade, mistakes here would impact real projects. It is therefore important to seek assistance when needed.”

Mentoring provides invaluable insights

Qabilah is part of the Candidacy Mentoring programme at AECOM which includes monthly training and regular mentoring sessions. “This has provided invaluable insight,” says Qabilah.”

“Stéfan Cremer, Senior Quantity Surveyor in the Project, Cost and Consultancy division is one of my AECOM mentors and he is dedicated to helping me grow. He is an incredible mentor with unique strengths and provides me with invaluable insights.” Coincidentally Stéfan is also a previous recipient of the award for best student in BKR 700 (Building Cost Estimation).

AECOM careers mentor

Qabilah with her mentor Stéfan Cremer, Senior Quantity Surveyor at AECOM

What next for Qabilah?

Qabilah is currently registered with the South African Council for Quantity Surveyors Profession as a Candidate Quantity Surveyor and is involved in all aspects of the Quantity Surveying Profession. She is currently working towards her professional registration, and is aiming to receive this in the next few years: “It is important to attain registration in order to open up opportunities for growth as a consultant in a corporate environment.”

AECOM is helping tremendously by ensuring that I get the right experience. The Candidacy Mentoring programme I previously mentioned tracks performance and builds soft skills, both of which are crucial for attaining registration. The programme includes monthly touch point sessions with interesting and invaluable discussions, and quarterly progress sessions where we deliver presentations. The presentations assist in the development of both technical and soft skills.”

Final thoughts from Qabilah

AECOM Qabilah career thoughts

“About four years ago, I returned home after sitting for my first test at University. It was without a doubt the most difficult examination I had ever written. When asked how the test went, I replied, as people often do, ‘it was very difficult but as long as I pass, it’s okay.’

A friend listening to the response asked about my academic performance at school, and then told me ‘you are capable of being a top achiever and that’s exactly what you need to aim for.’

This advice has always stuck with me: If you aim to just pass, you will work just hard enough to pass and eventually you will become accustomed to that level of performance. Ultimately this is what drove me to graduate top of my class in both my undergraduate and honours degree, and what continues to drive me to excel in my personal and professional life. Find what motivates you and use it to be the very best that you can be.”

A great time to join AECOM

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