Since I’ve started working at AECOM I have been based in the Chesterfield office, but I have been given the opportunity to work on large scale projects all over the UK. In my role as a Graduate Electrical Engineer, from the very start I have had the chance to perform countless different tasks and am never sure what will hit my desk next, something which I relish. A typical week could involve anything from; cable calculations, site surveys, layout drawings, producing specification documents, or bespoke design work.
From the very start I have been pushed and challenged to improve. Within my first few weeks I had been given a fairly unique design project which allowed me to be on site with the client and see first hand my designs being constructed. This project involved Amtech and hand cable calculations for very specialised design conditions including both AC and DC transmission and was completely different to anything I’d done before. My degree wasn’t in a building services specific discipline, so this project gave me the chance to understand real-world complexities such as the bend radius and termination of cables, sizing and installation of containment and the challenge of working to a client’s specification. I was thrown in at the deep end, something which I feel has aided my development more than sitting performing the same routine tasks day in day out.
More recently I have been working on a large-scale engineering project at Heathrow which is immensely exciting to be involved in. AECOM has been running the project from the options design stage which has allowed me the chance to produce site-wide electrical loading calculations, make key design decisions and work with multiple other disciplines including Architects and Structures to coordinate our plantrooms and key services requirements. I have never performed the same task on this project and have hugely enjoyed doing things that I never thought I would have the chance to do so early on in my role as a graduate. I have also been given the chance to use my language skills translating engineering specifications for one of AECOMs many international projects.
The opportunity to travel and be out on site so often and interact with so many different people are things which have been very appealing in my role as it ensures that I am always on my toes. In my role as graduate I have been to university careers fairs to speak to developing engineers, something which I enjoy doing as when I was a student I had no idea what my life as an engineer would actually involve. I have mentors around me who have followed a similar career path and are willing to give me advice. This is proving invaluable to me on my path to achieve my goal of chartership. AECOM organise regular CPD lunches to educate us on varying topics and further our career development which is always welcome, especially when free sandwiches are provided!
The social aspect of being part of AECOM has been really good, I work as part of a close-knit team that are all willing to talk to and help each other. I have made friends for life through the graduate scheme and playing football for AECOM. Regular social events are organised for us to take part in including the annual AECOM ball, summer barbecues, trips to the races, sports trips and Friday drinks. Through workplace events such as international women’s day I have had the opportunity to hear my colleague’s perspective on social issues and understand how we can all have a positive impact on other people’s lives.