Meet Aparna, a Development Infrastructure Apprentice

Aparna Jamgade

Development Infrastructure Apprentice

AECOM

What drew you to work at AECOM originally? What would that be now – has it changed?

I had design and construction experience overseas but due to family commitments, I took a career gap of 15 years, where first I faced layoff from recession, and I had to take up a variety of jobs outside of the construction industry. I then saw a light in the dark tunnel when I learnt about an apprenticeship in Civil Engineering, and AECOM has given me that opportunity to pursue my dream in the Construction Industry.

What is your role at AECOM?

I joined AECOM as an apprentice within the development infrastructure department in the Belfast NI office. Since I joined, I have contributed to civil engineering projects of high-profile schemes for the local council including a 30km long greenway scheme. I am also involved in several public realm schemes and civil projects on designing, detailing, specification, and tender processing, especially on concept design (my favourite part of the projects), in-depth calculations, report writing, assessments, cost estimations, 2D CAD drawings, communicating with the design team/client and site inspections.

How long have you worked for AECOM?

This July will be 4 years working for AECOM.

What do you like most about working for AECOM?

My team in AECOM believes in me, inspires me, and provides me with several challenging opportunities to work on a variety of local projects. Every time I pass by these sites I feel very proud of being a part of it.

The company promotes diversity, gender equality, and equal opportunity, and employs a team of professionals from different backgrounds. AECOM provides full support and training to enhance knowledge, understanding and experience in real projects to new graduates, and apprentices. AECOM's strategy of sustainable legacy interests me more, as we as professionals must work and do our part to achieve our target towards a sustainable world.

How has AECOM helped you in your career development?

I work in a small team and my line manager has supported me since I joined and provided opportunities in my career development by entering the first step of professional membership - EngTech MICE. My career plan is to climb the ladder further to achieve IEng and later maybe CEng from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

How do you use AECOM’s ‘Freedom to Grow’ to give you a good work/life balance?

Since the end of COVID lockdown, I have started to work three days from the office and the rest of the week from my choice of place. Due to the freedom to grow policy, I have been able to support and attend to my family (kids) events, and activities without fail. Such flexibility provides a great work-life balance. Since I don't have to commute every day, I can start my day early by doing some physical exercise and plan the rest of the day with a fresh mind & thoughts.

What has been your favourite project to work on at AECOM?

When I joined, the first project I started working on was the Village Renewal Scheme for a local council. This project involved the development of pockets of land situated in the town centre for the local community. I like this project specially because I was involved in designing, including all the intermediate processes of drafting, and tendering specifications until the execution of a site. I would like to mention another favourite project here, where I am involved in the planning stage so far; GREENWAY projects. These interest me more, as they are close to my favourite locations for walking and cycling.

Thinking about the projects you are involved in - how do you help to improve social outcomes for communities, or how have you contributed to sustainable solutions?

In Village renewal Scheme, the development lands were derelict and needed redevelopment so the adjoining community could meet, mingle and communicate frequently.

What’s your proudest moment at AECOM?

Little things make me feel proud of working at AECOM. I participated in a charity cycling event and completing it made me feel proud. I regularly get involved in the social value works organised by AECOM – like the annual beach clean day.

Receiving EngTech qualification is another level of achievement gained through working at AECOM, and I have also received ICE Quest technician scholarship for year 2023.

What have you gained from working at AECOM?

AECOM has provided me with the opportunity to prove myself after a career gap. Every day brings some challenges as I work on a variety of projects with some difficult tasks, which gives me an adrenaline rush for my mind, and I enjoy it.

What advice do you have for any prospective candidates?

AECOM provides full support, environment, and learning platform to Apprentices/Graduates through to their career ladder. You have freedom to set goals, objectives and accordingly you get professional review from your mentor which is a step-by-step way to work on your career path. I would advise that if you are passionate about the construction industry, AECOM is the right choice as it will take you under its wing to let you fly high.

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