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Challenge your expectations...Good fun and great professional training

CKD Galbraith is committed to taking on ambitious, bright and articulate rural surveying graduates and supporting them in obtaining their APC - Assessment of Professional Competence - the final step to becoming a fully qualified RICS Registered surveyor. Here, two of our graduate surveyors reflect on their first year with CKD Galbraith.

Above: Scott Hall competing in the Lanrick Challenge

Anna Zahedi - Rural graduate based at CKD Galbraith's Edinburgh office

By the end of my first week at CKD Galbraith, it was clear that there would be no such thing as a normal day. From training courses on our in-house Geopgrahic Information System to preparing a briefing note on Land Reform; to valuing the development potential of a crumbling steading on the edge of Edinburgh and negotiating graveyard space in Perthshire - my new job would be anything but boring!

The usual corporate hierarchy is non-existent when it comes to knowledge-sharing at CKD Galbraith. You are not expected to know everything and when faced with a new scenario, an experienced partner is always happy to speak to you and provide you with plenty of guidance.

Regular meetings with other departments in the office and the rural team across Scotland build relationships with colleagues, giving you a valuable network of professionals across all property-related disciplines.

If there is a particular area of work you are interested in, CKD Galbraith will try to facilitate your involvement, knowing that it will benefit both you and the company. I read Marine Biology at undergraduate level, so I was keen to be involved in the aquaculture work undertaken by the firm and have since had the opportunity to attend and participate in meetings with some of the largest aquaculture companies in Scotland.

The APC can be overwhelming but this is where a structured programme and a good supervisor come into their own. Colleagues are willing to put aside the time to help you, and being able to draw on this resource and knowledge is a great asset when preparing for assessments.

Having grown up in London, I had my first flavour of Scottish topography (and weather) at undergraduate level. So when I decided on a career as a rural surveyor, despite having no rural ties or Scottish roots, Scotland was my first choice. Although there are some differences in legislation, I relished getting to grips with ever-evolving Scots law, and having an understanding of both legal systems can only be an advantage. Unlike many firms that specialise in a particular genre of client, such as institutions or utilities firms, CKD Galbraith is not restrictively sector specific.

It did not take me long to realise that CKD Galbraith is a widely respected firm well-known for the quality of service it provides. That is a testament to the people who work here, how we do business and the ethos the firm endeavours to create, which makes for a pleasant environment to work and learn in.

Will FrazerRural graduate based at CKD Galbraith Perth

At University the questions I always asked potential employers were about what sort of clients they had and the work that graduates were likely to do.

I did not want to be pigeonholed early in my career by specialising too quickly. Instead I was looking to work somewhere I could gain a wide variety of experience.

Since joining CKD Galbraith I have worked across a really broad range of rural industry. Breadth and depth of knowledge must be demonstrated as you work towards the APC and I am encouraged by my supervisor and counselor to identify and seek out opportunities throughout CKD Galbraith to further my abilities and awareness. People across the company - from forestry to commercial and sales to sporting - have been very approachable and willing to involve me in projects that help me to develop my skills.

On many occasions I have had the responsibility of seeing a project through from start to finish. One client wanted to become a wildlife Estates Scotland member which meant ensuring the game handling and wildlife practices were fully in line with current regulations. I produced a report for the client setting out the different options and costs and giving my own recommendation of a way forward, which was ultimately agreed to, and I oversaw the improvement project.

To be given this degree of ownership of a project and the responsibility to see it through to its conclusion has been very satisfying.

There are fun activities to be part of as well. CKD Galbraith enters teams into several physical challenges, including the RSABI's Great Glen Challenge. I love the outdoors and a physical challenge, so the chance to get involved, to support a great cause and to bond with colleagues from other offices was too good to refuse. CKD Galbraith also took part in a Tug of War competition at the Scone Game Fair and beat three other firms of land agents to be named number one in Scotland!

My first year at CKD Galbraith has been a roller coaster ride. One day I'll be conducting an extremely challenging valuation of a commercial property and the next I'll be up a glen inspecting a herd of Blackface ewes. The nature of the work means it can feel like you are never in the office and I have seen much more of the country than I ever had before.