Chartered Surveyors, Estate Agents, Property Consultants

Donald Barber

Building Surveyor, Survey Department

1. What attracted you to Fenn Wright?

As part of my training and my route to becoming a Chartered Surveyor, I needed to gain experience in various areas of Surveying, all of which Fenn Wright cover to some extent. The addition of having monthly meetings with other APC candidates where ideas and progress could be discussed meant that Fenn Wright could provide a valuable training base and give me the best possible chance of becoming a Chartered Surveyor. 

2. How long have you been with Fenn Wright and how have you progressed? 

I have been at Fenn Wright since January 2015, when I was in the 3rd year of my degree with 18 months left to complete. I think the most important thing for me during the past 18 months was to have a range of relevant experience which could help me complete my degree successfully. I have certainly received that.  I have now completed my degree and am ready to focus further on my APC training. 

My job is, I imagine, one of the most varied in the company. I have worked on planning projects where we successfully received outline consent on 27 houses in the north of Colchester, and I have overseen and planned the successful refit of two of our offices to bring them in-line with the new brand design. 

I have attended various training events which have helped with my continued professional development. My broad basic knowledge is being expanded daily which allows me to cover the variety of services in Building Consultancy. I have recently attended both a first aid course and health and safety course too.

3. What is a typical working day like?

No two working days are the same for me; it is very unlikely that I will be working on one particular surveying discipline for more than half a day. Work starts any time between 8 and 8:30am and finishes around 6pm Monday to Friday. 

For example, today I started by completing a Schedule of Condition before meeting a contractor I had recently been out to tender with, to discuss a schedule of works. I then spent the late morning preparing contract documents and pre start CDM documents for a roofing and internal strip-out job in Ipswich. In the afternoon I prepared a tender report and started preparing my formal response to a planning appeal I am currently dealing with.

4. What is your proudest achievement since working at Fenn Wright?

My proudest achievement is attending university to undertake my part-time degree, whilst having a full-time job, training for an Ironman and achieving a First Class Honours Degree with an average mark of near 80%. 

5. Where are you based, what’s it like working there?

Tollgate, Stanway – A clean, air conditioned office with the upstairs dedicated to professional services. Upstairs is generally quiet and spacious which creates a good working environment. 

6. One word to sum up your experience at Fenn Wright?


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Residential lettings negotiator
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