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People Series – Peter Harland gives his take on working within the Real Assets Advisory Team at Deloitte

1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in Real Assets Advisory? How have you found joining O&CP?

I wanted to branch out from traditional quantity surveying, whilst still being able to utilise the skills I had built up in my previous role. The Real Assets Advisory team seemed the best place to do this. Since joining I have been able to combine work on traditional cost consultancy projects with real estate consultancy projects. I have found the team to be very welcoming and enjoyed the diverse spread of everyone’s professional backgrounds. I have also been fortunate to join as we are launching the Future of Work strategy and have had the flexibility to be able to meet a lot of colleagues in the office, which I would have struggled to do a year earlier.

2. Where were you before this and what has been your professional experience to date?

I joined Currie & Brown from university, where I primarily worked in their Due Diligence team. As a bank monitor in this team, I was responsible for preparing initial reports for developments across a variety of sectors to ascertain feasibility and risk, including reviews of construction costs and comparison against benchmark data. I also prepared interim reports, updating clients on progress and complications, cost overruns or obstacles to completion. Alongside my first role I attained a master’s degree in quantity surveying and construction from the University College of Estate Management. I also spent time in the M&E team at Currie & Brown before moving to Deloitte.

3. What has been your most enjoyable experience so far and why?

In my day to day work the most enjoyable experience has been running the procurement process for a commercial fit out project. It has been interesting to speak to several different suppliers and gauge their approaches and offerings to the future of the workplace. I have also relished being engaged on a project for a premiership football team, performing an audit of a large-scale construction project they are currently undertaking, which is something I did not think I would be part of within 6 months of joining!

4. What have you been engaged on so far during your time at Deloitte?

I have been involved on two CAPEX projects for telecoms clients where I was engaged to help the clients meet their ambitious FY22 and FY23 growth targets. Alongside these projects I have been acting as a cost consultant for commercial fit out projects throughout the UK.

5. What do you think sets Deloitte apart from its competitors?

The calibre and professional diversity of my colleagues is probably the main thing which sets Deloitte apart from competitors. Within Occupiers & Capital Projects Team there are eleven different service propositions - asset management, strategic sourcing, and assurance risk to name a few alongside the cost management proposition where most of my work to date has been focussed. In my opinion the opportunity to deliver any combination of the propositions to a client, whilst being able to further my own knowledge and experience of these propositions, makes Deloitte different to its competition. Given the variety of propositions it also means many projects we are working on are at the forefront of our industry.

6. What have you valued the most in your first year and what do you hope to achieve in the next few years?

The Occupiers & Capital Projects Team has been very supportive in helping me to develop a personal brand within the team. Further to this I have appreciated the commitment to my professional development in terms of the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). I hope to pass the APC and qualify as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, so I can utilise the qualification to provide in-depth advice to real estate clients as they attempt to navigate the ‘post-pandemic’ real estate landscape.

7. You are currently preparing for your RICS APC – how have Deloitte supported you and what are your preparation top tips?

Numerous colleagues at Deloitte have sat and passed the APC. I have regular check-ins with my engagement lead to ensure the work am I undertaking is relevant to my APC and I also have weekly sessions with my supervisor to review my learning. Deloitte have also provided a subscription to the RICS Professional Qualification Support Package. The top tips I would give to anyone undertaking the APC would be to be organised and realistic, it is a career milestone and requires dedication and commitment. The learning is time consuming and proper planning is essential to success, but the qualification and doors it opens will make the sacrifice worth it.

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