Wesley Belle – employed by Citizen

Constructing Excellence

I joined Whitefriars in 2008 after leaving University. Initially, I had decided to enter the housing as a stop gap before embarking on an alternative career. However, after spending time in housing, I found enjoyment and interest. I shortly moved into the Property Investment directorate and worked on a 10 year regeneration project focused on the enhancing a deprived area of Coventry. The purpose of the project was a simple one. Enhancement of a prehistoric council estate, for the benefit of local residents. This project included the demolition of no-fines concrete homes, to create 1,500 new homes of mixed tenure type. Part outright sale and part social rented homes. Here, I worked closely with colleagues to relocate (decant) families from their life long home into new homes. It was during this time, looking at plans, property layout and ensuring new homes were adapted for our residents’ needs that I understood that I wanted to develop my career in the built environment. I moved within the directorate to the role of a Tenant Liaison Officer working on refurbishment projects. This included EWI projects and in 2014 I was selected as part of the project team for our £10m flagship high rise refurbishment of 3 residential blocks.

During the project, I supported the Surveyor. It was this experience and knowledge gained that opened my opportunity to retrain as a Building Surveyor (BS). My employer requested that I carry out my own research to identify a BS degree course. Additionally I was requested to demonstrate my ambition and commitment by enrolling myself on the course before being accepted for sponsorship. I chose the regarded Master’s degree in Building Surveying at Nottingham Trent and in October 2015, I began attending the course part time on day release. The next few years were challenging. I have massive respect for any person who undertakes professional learning, later in life, on day release from work whilst managing their career, life itself, all at the same time. I recall waking up at 6:30am to start my commute to attend University for the day, to then work in the library from 7pm to 11pm on assignments or catching up on work from being out of the office. Finally arriving home at 12am to fall asleep and attend work at 8am the following day. Additionally I remind myself about the 10 days leave I would lose each January to undertake exam revision/ assignments at the start of a new leave allocation. My hard work, dedication and commitment was continually rewarded in each assessment. In every module studied I achieved the highest grade. I was awarded aggregate course mark of 79% which meant that I was awarded the additional award of RICS East Midlands Prize (Most Outstanding Performance).