Alumnus Curt Guven on how his degree opened a lot of doors.
As a youngster, Curt Guven had a keen interest in graphic design. When it came to choosing a degree, he thought choosing to study something he enjoyed as a hobby would make sense. However, once he gave the matter a bit more thought, he realised he needed to think longer-term when it came to his time at university.I’d never really thought about a university education,” he admits. “The applications I made weren’t really focused on choosing an actual career. When I sat down and really thought about it, I reconsidered my decisions and decided to look for an alternative.”
From his interest in graphic design, it wasn’t a huge leap for Curt to focus on Computer Aided Design. “From a young age I enjoyed learning how things worked, how they were put together, and why they sometimes went wrong,” he says. “I approached a local company, Geoffrey Sloan Associates, for an apprentice role in surveying. Part of the agreement was that the company would sponsor me to undertake a degree in Building Surveying – I haven’t looked back since.”
Although the company was funding the degree, Curt was able to choose where he studied, but he was quickly convinced that LSBU was the right place for him. “The company wanted me to do an RICS-accredited course, which LSBU has,” he says. “The Director at Geoffrey Sloan Associates had finished his degree at LSBU and spoke very positively about the syllabus and his time there, so that was another big positive. Throw in the location and the decision became even easier.”
I loved my time at LSBU. I enjoyed the practical nature of the course, especially sustainability and building technology. What I learned has helped me to refine my own approach, producing better designs and building specifications as a result.
Curt also enjoyed the guest lectures that formed part of his degree. “Ultimately, the discussions held during those guest lectures helped me to develop my understanding of the modules, improve my academic work and raise the quality of my day-to-day work as a Building Surveyor.”
No two days the same
As you would expect from someone in his line of work, Curt also found time to take in the stunning cityscape views from our buildings. “Watching the Shard being built and looking at the skyscrapers in the distance somehow added a visual context to what we could achieve in our profession. It was something that really motivated me, much more so than had I been studying somewhere else,” he says.
Curt is still working for Geoffrey Sloan Associates, and enjoying the variety of work he does for what is a small company of eight staff. “I’ve worked on projects including the construction of a 100-bed student accommodation scheme in Epsom, a lot of office-to-residential conversions, new housing and apartment schemes, and typical residential extension work,” he says. “As we’re a small team, I tend to work on most of the projects that pass through the company, so I can honestly say that no two days are the same. Whatever I’m up to though, I often find myself using the skills and knowledge I learned at LSBU, and I’ve developed them a lot since.”
Curt is now in charge of in-house energy and efficiency design of the company’s projects, as well as maintaining their BIM server and associated projects. “My degree has opened a lot of doors for me,” he says. “Without it, I would never have been able to progress past the role of a draftsman. It has shaped and redefined my abilities and advanced my career – my skills define me as a professional and my degree has been a big part of who and what I am.”
Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Building Surveying at LSBU.