Shona Siame

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What business unit in do you work in?:

I work as a Cost Consultant Graduate in Arcadis’ Water and Environment business unit

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am currently supporting WESSI in the delivery of flood alleviation schemes around the midlands supporting the commercial team. I always had a keen interest in construction, and I wanted to be involved in the delivery of projects in some form growing up. So, I decided to study Quantity Surveying at Nottingham Trent University.

What inspired you to apply for this role?

The role fulfilled the responsibilities I was expected to perform, and the graduate route seemed appropriate to help gain further skills, mix with my peers and learn a breadth of knowledge.

What inspired you to apply to Arcadis?

During my final year at university I attended several events focused on promoting women in construction. An Arcadis representative attended one event and talked about their experience which inspired me to apply. I had previously completed a placement year with a SME housebuilder and aspired to widen my exposure to the industry.

What has been the single most important thing you've learnt so far in your job?

How to manage your own workload and to meet deadlines, and not to be afraid to ask for support if you need it. This also goes in hand with learning how to the meet expectations of your team and the client.

What is your role and how long have you been at Arcadis?

I am currently a graduate cost consultant based in the Birmingham office I have been here for over two years now.

What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?

I could be anything from reviewing Application’s for Payment, Assessing Compensation Events, drafting Commercial Reports, updating Project Cost Forecasts or attending Commercial Reviews.

What do you find most interesting with the sector/role you’re in?

I have gained a good amount of exposure to our clients. Also, the long-term impact of our projects on the public, understanding the number of homes we could be potentially protecting by building flood defences in areas.

What is the Arcadis culture like?

I would say that Arcadis is an inclusive place to work especially in the Birmingham office. The people are very friendly and although it is a corporate environment there is a good level of focus on the social aspect which Is important for networking and Mentorship.

How important is diversity to you and what is Arcadis doing in this space at the moment?

Very important! I could not work in an environment that was not diverse whether this be Race or Age. Arcadis Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) division focuses on representing this sharing knowledge and holding events. This focus is important so that we can continue to be reflective of our workforce but also our diverse clients.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Arcadis?

I would like to say the importance of first impressions. Especially during interview stage or the assessment centre you need to be able to separate yourself from the rest of the candidates. Have a think about what makes you different from the next person and highlight this during your interactions with your potential employer. They will appreciate your enthusiasm and you will be memorable.