Kristina Mc Grath – BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying
Name: Kristina Mc Grath
School: Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon
Current Job: Project Estimator at Coyle, New York
I always had a huge interest in construction. Whether it was the design of a building I seen or a house that I admired, I was always intrigued as to how it was built. I would even Google a building to get more information on how it was constructed! So, from a young age, I knew that something in the construction industry was the path I was going to choose.
When it comes to studying Quantity Surveying, I liked that there was both practical and theoretical aspects to the course. You were never just sitting in a class all the time. We could have a class of construction studies or construction law, and then we might be outside carrying out a land survey or in the computer lab using AutoCAD. The modules were varied and always kept you interested and wanting to learn more.
I really liked the construction technology module. This is where you learn all the different components of a build from the ground up and I think this module helped a lot with other aspects of the course.
The construction industry can take you wherever you want to go. It is always evolving and progressing, but once you have the fundamental knowledge, you can certainly grow from there. After graduating in 2015, I worked at a local road recycling company in Donegal, just to get a feel for the professional environment and learn about submitting tenders for work that they had priced.
In 2016 I moved to New York where I worked as an estimator for a large subcontractor who carried out drywall, ceilings, concrete, fireproofing and masonry work. I learnt a lot here and worked on large scale projects across Manhattan – including some very prestigious buildings.
I then worked for a real estate development company where we owned and constructed new residential buildings from the ground up. This role involved carrying out take offs for materials and labor to establish budgets for current and future projects. I dealt with sourcing and purchasing materials as well as hiring subcontractors to carry out the works across all aspects of the project – groundwork, foundations, interior/exterior walls, windows, doors, hardware, all MEP’s, kitchens, paint, finishes etc.
I now work as a Project Estimator for Coyle, New York.
For any student thinking about studying Quantity Surveying at ATU Sligo, my advice would be to work hard and follow your dreams. Your path can take you anywhere in the world as it has done for me.
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