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Reyburn & Bryant's Graduate Surveyors are Working Beyond the Desk
Ruby Mackay
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Reyburn & Bryant's Graduate Surveyors are Working Beyond the Desk

Local Surveying firm Reyburn and Bryant find themselves lucky enough to have two new Graduate Surveyors join the fulltime staff.

Alesha Ahrens was raised on a remote dairy farm and she knows how to talk to farmers. She happily describes her upbringing “in the back of no-where” as the place where her love of the outdoors began. It was her formative years spent surfing, climbing and training as a lifeguard with the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club that drew her to a career spent outside.

Alesha began her survey degree at the University of Otago in 2018. With roots firmly ground in Northland, she returned home the following summer in search of a survey intern programme. Alesha recalls her first job for Reyburn and Bryant (R&B); “it was a fantastic surprise to jump beyond years of theory and into the field”. From the moment she started with R&B she knew that surveying was for her. She began working as a survey assistant and soon discovered her love for working on rural projects and getting the opportunity to work with farmers. She says she understands their perspective and can match personalities with the work they’d like done.

Cameron Bartlett is another recent graduate from the Otago University School of Surveying. He too is Northland born. He’s a keen surfer from Waipu Cove and also volunteered there as a lifeguard. Cameron wasn’t certain what he wanted to do when he left school but was drawn to engineering. He spent an afternoon “brainstorming his future on the deck” with a family friend. He decided he’d like to get into a gateway programme with R&B in his final year of school. This gave him the chance to test out whether an outdoor based career, which included technical elements in surveying, would be a good choice. Cam didn’t know much about surveying but he knew that R&B had a reputation in Northland for being a great employer with a strong team of people that he could learn from. That gateway programme led to Cameron enrolling in the Survey Degree Programme, returning home to Northland each summer.

Like Cameron, Alesha completed her degree after the pandemic impacted 2021. She was enticed to return to Whangarei for the beaches and the lifestyle, and the opportunity to return to work for R&B. She says the company offer incredible variety in the work they do. She’s also enjoyed the confidence that the company leaders have shown in her to progress to her own projects. Several of these require other involvement from from start to end, despite being a recent graduate. She believes her people skills, gained in part through her time as a lifeguard, have enabled her to progress much faster than many of her peers. Alesha says it’s working for R&B that has given her this opportunity to develop her strengths and work in a great team.

Cameron started with R&B in November and he’s loving every minute. He values the broad scope of work offered by the company. He laughs that this sets him apart from his city mates from his graduating class who’ve have had to settle for specialised survey firms who work in a singular niche area. He says he’s learning something every day from the experienced team alongside him. His highlights so far have been the cadastral work on large subdivisions. He likes the technical engineering aspects of the work, proving that he was on the right track all those years ago when he brainstormed his future.

In her spare time Alesha continues to spend much of her life outdoors, often sharing surf reports with others in the office. Cameron is also enjoying a work-life balance, playing his way around the Northland golf courses and spending time on the beaches this summer. Alesha and Cameron will graduate together in May, knowing that by then Reyburn and Bryant will have given them an exciting start to their surveying careers.

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