Interview With Quantity Surveyor Limpo Idudu

18:45 Monrovia 0 Comments

Please tell us about yourself

I grew up in Greytown KwaZulu Natal and I completed my matric at Greytown Hoer Skool in the year 2010. My loving mother allowed me to take a gap year in the year 2011 and I moved to Pietermaritzburg where I acquired employment as an admin assistant at the Clicks pharmacy in Liberty Midlands Mall. I initially thought I'd venture into Pharmacy and working at Clicks-Liberty would allow me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the industry to confirm if I really wanted to spend the rest of my life as a pharmacist. At the time there was a lot of construction going on around the mall and I developed an interest in the construction industry, and this resulted in me applying for Civil Engineering at the University of Johannesburg for the year 2012. I then moved to Johannesburg in the year 2012 to start my studies and as the year progressed, I realized that I was not happy with the choice I had made. I now had access to other students in the Built environment and they were able to advise in terms of alternative courses within the engineering faculty. My loving mother once again supported me in moving to Pretoria to study at the Tshwane University of Technology and that is where my journey with Quantity Surveying began, I knew from my first lecture that I was at the right place.

Have you always known that you wanted to become a Quantity Surveyor? What inspired your career choice?

No, during my gap year, I used to drive past construction sites, and it sparked an interest. While I was working at the pharmacy, I realised that I didn't like the concept of being stuck in one place the entire time. Upon doing my research I knew that a course in the built environment would allow me the opportunity to travel and be outdoors.

Did you experience any hurdles in your university years and how did you overcome them?

Yes, especially when I was at UJ and I overcame the hurdles by being open and transparent with my mother and she was able to hold my hand and support me every step of the way.

What would you say to a Senior High School student who isn't sure about what career to pursue?

Firstly, take a gap year and do your research about the different courses offered in SA. If possible, get a job or volunteer in the industry you want to get into.

What do you love the most about your job? And what is a typical day like for you at work as a Quantity Surveyor?

Cost analysis & negotiating, being a QS requires a lot of multi-tasking and communicating efficiently with the project team members. Given that I work on multiple sites at a time they all require me to compile BOQ, analyse BOQ from contractors, attend technical & progress meetings, site measurements, and valuations and facilitate payment processes.

When you started working was it exactly as you expected or were there surprises?

Given that I went to a technical school I already had an idea of what was expected of me, but to this day it does still surprises me how important it is for the QS to be up to date with industry trends because the success of the project lies in the knowledge of the Quantity Surveyor.

Employment opportunities are scarce nowadays; SA has reached unbelievable statistics of youth unemployment- what would you tell a graduate who is actively looking for a job in their respective fields?

Don't be afraid to start small, volunteer if you have to. Giving up is not an option and always have the courage to knock on doors because the worst response you can get is no & I believe that a "NO" is not a death sentence.

Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve or contribute to the field of quantity surveying, both professionally and personally?

Currently, I'm busy with my council registration and I hope to one day advance to the Dr level. This journey has made me realise that there isn't any guidance for the registration processes, and I hope to one day assist graduates embarking on the journey. God willing I'd love to be in a position where I can assist matriculants venturing into QS studies with funding etc.

Can you share a moment in your career where you felt particularly proud of your accomplishments or contributions to a project?

I'm proud of myself every day. I communicate efficiently & effectively with the project managers I work with, and they know they can count on me for cost-effective solutions. As mentioned previously I love analysing costs and negotiating so almost every week I'm in a position where I pat myself on the shoulder for saving costs. In high school, my friends nicknamed me "Dee" and I always joke with the project managers that the D is for Discount.

Have you faced any specific challenges or barriers as a female quantity surveyor, if so, how have you overcome them?

Definitely, let your work speak for you and never view yourself as a victim. Speak up when necessary and always make sure you're up to date.

What advice would you give to other women aspiring to enter the field of quantity surveying or similar male-dominated industries?

I think we need to do away with the statement "male-dominated industries" because it automatically paints women as victims. Focus on your goal, challenges will always be there, but your work ethic will forever speak for itself. So my advice is don't invest energy into things that do not advance your knowledge of the industry.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance while pursuing a demanding career in quantity surveying?

LOL, I'm still working on this… but I can say I'm deadline driven be it school or work I always make sure I get things done and I reward myself with some rest as soon as I've accomplished my goal for the day/week.

Lastly, what advice would you give to your younger self knowing all that you know now?

Continue to be you and stay true to who you are.

The SA Varsity Team would like thank Mrs Limpo Idudu for this inspirational and insightful interview, we're looking forward to witnessing more growth and prosperity from her as a trailblazer in the construction realm!.

To contact Mrs Idudu, do reach out to her on Linkedin. (Click here to be led to her profile). 


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