Degree/university: Civil engineering with architecture, Leeds University
Year of graduation: 2003
Occupation: Graduate engineer at Mott MacDonald
What do you do in your job?
A typical week might involve going out to a site and inspecting a bridge – measuring for corrosion and defects. The rest of the week will be spent preparing a report on the bridge. I will then do calculations to make sure it’s not going to collapse under the weight of trains, lorries or people.
What was your motivation in applying?
Because it’s a large international company, there is the opportunity to move into different offices either in the UK or abroad. I would like to travel the world and there are a large variety of interesting jobs I could do with Mott MacDonald. Also, before I came to join I got the feeling the office seemed like quite a nice place to work with a good atmosphere.
What did the application process involve?
It involves going on to the company website and applying online. You fill out all your details and then your application form goes direct to graduate recruitment.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Getting out of the office to inspect structures. Occasionally I inspect other structures aside from bridges, which can be quite interesting, including storage tanks. There is a nice variety and occasionally I do designs for strengthening bridges, or new designs for news structures. Above all, I work with great people in a nice environment.
Most challenging part of your job?
Learning how to assess new structures – there are different methods of assessment. There are a lot of computer-aided assessment tools. Another challenge is trying to get chartered, and keeping on top of development objectives. When you get chartered you go for a professional review. You also take an exam, give a presentation and have an interview. I prepare a development report every three months as part of the process of becoming chartered. I get support from Mott MacDonald to do all that. They’ve been very helpful and good at giving me the right types of work to make sure different objectives can be signed off.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Get involved with the graduates and students committees of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE). The committees are there to guide people and give advice, so they are the best place to go if you have queries. I would even say becoming a member of a committee would be good; they are always looking for new people who are enthusiastic and pro-active.