Meet Claire Valkenborg, a licensed cadastral surveyor and a strong believer in the continued development of the survey profession. Claire has worked as a surveyor since 2007 and obtained her license after joining Beca in 2012. She's led the delivery of a variety of large, challenging projects, touching on all aspects of the survey profession. With a passion for cadastral-based projects, she has been involved in complexities such as removal of limitations, natural boundaries, Maori Land surveys and strata parcels. Claire is an active member on the committee of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) and currently sits on the local executive committee.
What does your role as a licensed cadastral surveyor involve? I am involved in all aspects of our work within the survey group and a key point of contact for cadastral advice to numerous large projects across Auckland. This includes leading survey projects and working with engineers, architects and planners on their projects. I can be quite involved from start to finish; initially helping with scope definition, programming and identification of risks. From there I support project teams through the project cycle, providing topographical and cadastral services and advice through to delivery.
What work do you enjoy the most? Cadastral work! I really enjoy removal of limitations surveys. We come in and gather all the boundary evidence – on site that might be looking for survey marks, where the fences are, talking to neighbours, and looking through historical photos, property files and architectural drawings. Then we can make a judgement on where those final boundaries are going to go. I find it really interesting because you have to think about how everything fits together.
How would you describe the level of interaction you have with clients? There's a very high level of interaction at Beca which means we get to work closely with our clients. As a result, you take extra pride in your work because you get first hand feedback. As a Job Manager, you have real ownership for the scope and timing of projects and it's always clear because you work with clients to understand their needs. You also form great client relationships and can become the person they call on for help.
What was it that first attracted you to Beca? I was keen to progress my career and heard that Beca offered opportunities for career growth and development. I spoke to a surveyor working at Beca and was blown away when he said, "Okay here's where you'll start and then in the space of a couple of years, you'll be 'here'." I've also been impressed with the all the training opportunities that help with your professional development.
You get to mentor and support graduates. What motivates you to do this? I feel that as a licenced cadastral surveyor, you have a duty to mentor and help other graduates get through their licencing, especially if you're recently licenced and it's still fresh in your mind. I got a lot of mentoring and support when I went through the licencing process, so it's sort of passing on that knowledge to the younger grads.
What advice you would give to a cadastral surveyor just starting out?
Ask as many questions as you can – it's the best way to learn. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask for help instead of trying to figure it out. It's fantastic when you show enthusiasm and are passionate to know the answers.
There are currently several opportunities for surveyors at Beca – and we're recruiting now! If you're looking to take the next step in your career, contact us to find out about the exciting career opportunities that are waiting for you.