Meet Marta, a Graduate Interior Designer

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Marta Jimenez

Graduate Interior Designer

AECOM

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

AECOM is a very well-known company working on a wide range of projects with the ability to make an impact and tackle some of the challenges we are facing nowadays. I was very interested in the Graduate scheme as an opportunity to develop my career with support and mentoring from creative, competent, and inspiring professionals.

Currently, I can confirm, after 5 months that it has exceeded my expectations. The team made me feel so welcome from the first day and I have a line manager who is incredibly supportive, encouraging me and making me enjoy every single aspect of the role.

What is your role at AECOM?

I am a Graduate Interior Designer. I work within the Interior Design (ID) UK Team which is in London, Glasgow, and Belfast. My role involves supporting the team in creating clients’ strategies within the workplace. We bring the concept of ‘The Office of the Future’ offering new ways of working based on collaborative spaces, rather than individual settings, to encourage people connections.

The daily activities involve space planning, suitability studies, concept, and technical design, FF&E Specification, and change management strategy among others.

How long have you worked for AECOM?

I joined AECOM 5 months ago. I started in September 2022 after completing the MA in Interior Design and Architecture from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

What do you like most about working for AECOM?

The ID Team’s support, friendship, and competence are the things I value the most. They are fantastic and their wide range of skill sets have helped me broaden my knowledge, especially at the beginning of my career.

I work with diverse projects, making me feel like every day is different. The types of designs are very challenging, making the role motivating and interesting. We are living through unprecedented times; still wondering ‘what is the future of the office after the pandemic?’ Thinking about how we can improve people’s lives through design drives me daily.

Lastly, another great aspect is that we are in charge of our career progression. We have the ability here at AECOM to drive our development into many different areas. Options are endless!

How has AECOM helped you in your career development?

Since I joined the company in September 2022, I had the opportunity to be part of the ADVANCE Programme. We are given plenty of training to help us develop communication, presentation, and soft skills from the beginning of our careers. Technical training is also provided at AECOM University. You can continuously improve your knowledge and put it to good use.

From the minute I started in the company, my manager has supported me in every single aspect that is critical in my progression. She helps me to get the best of myself. I have received colleagues’ support when needed, making it very easy to start my career in the company.

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

As a person who lives in Edinburgh but is based in the Glasgow office, commuting can be expensive, especially with the transport price rise. With ‘Freedom to Grow’ I get more flexible work schedules for those days in the office. This means I can travel off-peak, so I can save money.

I also believe the flexible approach helps people to take responsibility for their working hours and makes us more productive and efficient as well as managing our work/life balance.

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

Although I have not worked here for long, I have had the opportunity to participate in different projects. My favourite one has been the AECOM Manchester office as I spent the most time working on it, getting an overall idea of how a project is developed. I am also involved with the Change Management team and enjoy this because it focuses on behaviour which is vital to understand when designing for people!

What’s your proudest moment at AECOM?

I feel very proud generally about being part of the company. Working for AECOM was one of my objectives when I finished my studies and now I can say that I have achieved it!

What have you gained from working at AECOM?

I challenge myself every day. I have amazing support, professional and personal growth, and the opportunity to be around fantastic and inspiring people working on very interesting projects.

What advice do you have for any prospective candidates?

I reckon it is good to identify your interests and objectives from the beginning. Try to have a proactive attitude and try to say ‘yes’ even if you think you could fail. Especially at the beginning of our careers, we should not be afraid to commit mistakes as they always present an opportunity to learn.

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