How has your career developed since joining Mott MacDonald as a graduate?
I first worked here on a summer placement and then came to the ports, coastal and offshore division of Mott MacDonald fresh from university. So far I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some of the larger UK infrastructure projects like High Speed 2 and Thames Tideway, there’s been detailed design work of flood defences in Great Yarmouth, I’ve studied sediment transport patterns in South Africa and helped with the master-planning of a new container terminal in the UAE. It’s been a fantastic range of work that has helped me make solid progress towards my ICE chartership. Better still I’ve made some really good friends on the way.
What are your favourite projects that you have worked on?
My favourite project so far is Thames Tideway. It might not sound too glamorous at first (it’s a giant sewer) but it involves engineering on a massive scale and will be making a positive contribution to London long after I’m gone, which is exciting. I’ve been working in a multidisciplinary environment which has shown me a much greater variety of engineering than I would normally come close to on one project. As a project it’s good at implementing the best ideas and practices from current engineering thinking, such as BIM and making a serious effort towards social responsibility. So overall, I’m finding it great.
What is the best thing about working at Mott MacDonald?
The people here are wonderful – once you get to know the office and they get to know you there’s always someone that you can do things with or that will send opportunities your way, whether that’s related to work, play or anything in between. It makes the place feel like more than just an office, and my time becomes more than just another day at work.
What do you think makes Mott MacDonald unique?
It’s a huge, global company but you’re never reduced to a number – people will listen to you and care about your needs and think about how and where you can make the best contribution. This means that if you want you can get some variety and move between jobs or even continents within the company, or do the complete opposite if that’s what floats your boat.
What support have you had whilst working towards your chartership?
I’ve been really lucky in the mentors that have been assigned to me – they’re very approachable and proactive, which is good as it stops me from getting too lazy in my chartership work. It’s great to see that people care about your development – it’s easy to stay motivated when you know that you’re not going it alone.
What was your favourite part of the Academy, and why?
The best thing about the Academy has been that it has introduced me to graduates from other offices around the country – this is something that would be quite difficult to do otherwise and it’ll probably prove very useful in future.
What advice would you give to current students applying to Mott MacDonald?
Definitely get a couple of summer’s worth of work experience before you leave uni. You’ll learn more about what it means to work as a civil engineer in those few months than you will over the rest of your degree. And a work placement can work as a long, subtle job interview – you’ll get to know the company, they’ll get to know you and if you both like what you see you could come away with a contract for when you graduate. Appreciate your time at university though; it’s a whole new world once you start working.
What is the most exciting thing you have done at Mott MacDonald to date?
It’s a close call between two things. There was a site visit to Crossrail organised by some of the Mott MacDonald team who worked on the design – it’s impressive stuff down there. Also a bunch of employees from across the country went up to the North York Moors for a mountain biking weekend and we had a thrilling but occasionally painful time (I fell on my face).