Degree/university: MEng in civil engineering from University College London
Year of graduation: 2005
Occupation: Graduate engineer for Atkins
What do you do in your job?
I first joined Atkins as a structural engineer in the rail sector and was involved in the design of a wide variety of structures ranging from buildings to subways. As part of the graduate training scheme, we are encouraged to move around teams within the office and gain exposure to the operation of projects from different team’s perspective. As a result, after a year with the structures team, I was transferred to the Permanent Way track team. The Permanent Way team’s main responsibility is the design, layout and the alignments of tracks. The experience was invaluable.
What was your motivation in applying?
A number of reasons; the first being the projects Atkins had to offer. I wanted to join a company where I would gain as much experience as possible and be able to apply what I had learnt during my degree in real-life situations. As a graduate on a training agreement, I feel it is doubly important to know you have the full backing of the company.
What did the application process involve?
The first stage of the process was the online application, followed by a telephone interview and finally an assessment day. Potential graduates were invited to have a lovely meal with directors from different offices. Presentations were also given by current graduates on training and their experiences on the night. That was followed by a whole day assessment the following day involving interview, simple technical, interpretation and written tests.
What do you enjoy about your job?
One of the reasons I decided to become an engineer is because I wanted to make a difference to society and provide solutions to problems. Moreover, being able to see the structures you designed getting constructed and knowing that the solutions provided prove to be a success just gives me a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Most challenging part of your job?
When I first joined the industry everything I had learnt at uni was theory, so applying the theory could prove to be a bit of a challenge as well. But because I was in an office with so many friendly and experienced engineers I was given a lot of help.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Summer placements are important – what I gained during mine were improved organisational and communication skills.