Passionate about the Christchurch rebuild, Danielle Ashcroft is excited that she gets to be a part of it as an estimator/quantity surveyor for Fletcher Construction.

“I’m not very good at manual drawing and don’t have the patience for it, so I knew I wouldn’t be an architect. But by studying quantity surveying and now having a career in it, I get to look at all these amazing drawings for the rebuild and I put a figure to it. It’s not going to be a quick process, but we’re going to have an incredibly amazing city in fifteen years or so.”

Danielle began her study by completing a National Diploma in Quantity Surveying and then the National Diploma of Construction Management at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, which she finished around the time of the first earthquakes. Now she is studying part-time via correspondence a Bachelor of Construction, and this is all part of her plan to become a senior estimator and then the chief estimator (a management role overseeing the estimating department) within Fletcher.

Worried that Construction is far from being just a man’s world! Danielle has met many amazing women working in the industry from engineers to architects, other quantity surveyors, and even carpenters. She was very happy the CPIT diplomas prepared her well for the “real world” with applicable skills and knowledge.

“I really enjoyed measurement, which was measuring all of the building elements like timber, steel etc. and then estimating – which is putting a price to the materials and the labour to do work. I also loved cost planning, which was putting together a total cost plan for a building. My passion for these definitely steered me more towards estimating rather than quantity surveying as what I prefer to do in my job.”

Glad that she found her calling in construction, Danielle encourages anyone passionate about the industry to just go for it. She admits she wasn’t very good at maths in high school, but it still didn’t put her off applying to Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Once she got in, she found the teachers to be supportive and patient, willing to help whenever needed.

“Construction is an ever-changing industry, so there’s always something different and creative going on. I definitely won’t get bored with it any time soon – and that is really important to have in a job. When you choose a career path, you’re choosing something that you’re going to be doing five out of seven days a week for 20, 30, or 40 plus years! So you want to be doing something you actually enjoy.”


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