Since joining AECOM, no two working days are the same which makes every day something new. My responsibilities on the two projects I work on are completely different, which is refreshing and means I am constantly learning about and strengthening different skills. On one project, I am a contract assistant for the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) works. My duties involve contract administration, being responsible for keeping track of project deliverables and sub-contractor management, and ensuring the latest information about the project is available, updated and complete. As well as these tasks, I am also required to do other tasks along the way (invoice checking, making organigrams etc.), which means I can be very busy at times.
My role on the other project is very different. I act as more of a Client Representative where I liaise with the sub-contractors and project sponsors, help draft and write contractual documents, write evaluation reports, set up site visits, attend various meetings regarding different phases of the project, and security and minuting.
Every day at AECOM I am constantly learning things within my team. They are not selfish with their knowledge or experience and are always willing to assist me with any queries I may have. As an example, during my first week at AECOM I was given a task and I did not know the best way to proceed, as my knowledge of construction project management was academic rather than practical and therefore limited. I felt lost and unsure of what information was needed to complete the task. I told the lead PM with whom I was working that I was really struggling to understand the work they had given me, that I was trying my best, but my knowledge was limited. The lead PM was understanding and set up a private meeting to go over the task in detail with me, outlining where to find the correct information and explained some of the processes and procedures of the project and where this task fitted into the project time line. I found this one-to-one knowledge session – keeping in mind just how busy they were - so helpful and it really made me feel like I could go to my team with any queries and that I would be met with a helping hand and no judgement. Having worked out of several AECOM offices, I have found this to be ‘the rule’ at AECOM and not an ‘exception’.
AECOM really do uphold their “freedom to grow” policy. They are understanding towards an individual’s circumstances and accommodate what is needed at the time. At least this is my experience, first-hand and observed. There have been times where I needed to work from home / leave work early and my requests received no opposition.
I am naturally a shy person, so on my first day at AECOM I was wondering how I would make friends within my team / the surrounding teams. There are always horror stories about ‘office politics and unhealthy working environments’, but my worries were washed away when a colleague who was a similar age introduced herself and other young members of the office to me. Everyone immediately made me feel welcomed and all took the time to personally introduce themselves to me and chat with me. The warmth and positivity with which I was welcomed by my team and other members of the office was great. They brought me in as another member of a unit. Now, we have regular outings on Fridays after work and I have lunch with colleagues regularly during the week. I absolutely enjoy going to work every day.