Mia is a Student Engineering Technician in our Birmingham office. Following her GCSEs, she went on to Solihull college where she was chosen to become an engineering apprentice. Despite having to work from home for the last 17 weeks, she has been busy supporting the engineering team and continuing her studies remotely.
Here she explains how her mix of studying and days in the office (and from her makeshift home office!) are setting her up for an exciting career ahead!
Is this your first job?
My first part time job was waitressing for a village hall in my local area. I did that throughout the last year of school while I was taking my GCSEs. I then moved on to college where I was lucky enough to be chosen to become an Apprentice at Woods Hardwick.
Why did you decide on a career in engineering?
I originally wanted to pursue a career in surveying but when I went to college they helped me to discover engineering. I’ve been at Woods Hardwick since October 2018 and I really enjoy the work I do here. I do still work with some aspects of surveying as I regularly have to look at surveys in my engineering work. In fact I would still like to explore surveying more in the future.
What does your training entail? Are you working towards a qualification?
At the moment I’m working towards a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering. To gain this qualification I have to complete assignments for college and I have to complete my NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) to get my diploma. To complete the NVQ I have to write a report about the work I do on a daily basis at Woods Hardwick, showIng how it meets certain criteria, to prove I am doing the work relevant to my qualification.
How did you settle in to Woods Hardwick – what do you enjoy about working here?
I settled in very easily – everyone made me feel so welcome and I have learned so much during my time here. I enjoy the atmosphere we have in the Birmingham office and it puts me in a good mood every day. The team organises regular social events for the office (over Microsoft Teams at the moment!) and before lockdown we also got together with the Bedford office for away days, Christmas parties and sporting events – so I get to meet people from all different departments who are working in lots of different sectors. I love it!
What type of projects you get involved in and any stand out projects?
I’ve been involved in various projects. The one that stands out the most was a housing development of 49 new homes for developer, Mulberry Homes, in Maulden, Bedfordshire. It was the first project I really worked on without needing much guidance. I had to create the base plan and do the external finishes, with other members of the team completing the engineering, setting out and conveyance plans.
What would you recommend to any budding engineers? How do they make themselves stand out?
My advice would be to:
- Be yourself
- Be honest
- Have an interest in the industry
- Do lots of research into the industry
- Join the professional body that is relevant to the career path you want to take e.g. Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
- Be organised!