After I quickly have a shower, coffee and whatever happens to dwell in my fridge, I set out to the Edinburgh Mott MacDonald office, a lovely and bustling community of over 100 staff members. As I walk to work, I am lucky enough to encounter beauties such as the Meadows Park, Edinburgh Castle and Usher Hall, making my commute pleasant and sustainable. If you have yet to visit Edinburgh, I encourage you to do so.
I have a closely knit team which consist of people from all over the globe: Greece, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, England, Scotland and many more nationalities. I am proud to be able to add my Spanish background to the mix creating a truly international and global feel, a common feature in most Mott MacDonald offices. Once I am greeted by my colleagues and have the usual morning chat about the weather or the latest political news affecting the UK panorama, I proceed to sit at my desk to read my emails and the plan I drafted the previous day.
I have undertaken a placement as an electrical engineer for Mott MacDonald’s water team, and I am lucky enough to carry out my work within a multidisciplinary team including mechanical, process and civil engineers with varying levels of experience and knowledge to share. There is always plenty to learn!
Due to the nature of electrical engineering, especially in the water industry, we are the last discipline to provide input into the projects, requiring plenty of communication to do so. This includes asking the client for information on their plants, suppliers for documentation and data sheets, and more importantly liaising with team members to understand their requirements. This is one of the best aspects of my job and discipline as it allows me to meet and work with a very wide range of professionals in different companies and offices, something I find very gratifying. This has allowed me to develop the interpersonal skills required within modern engineering practice and develop good relationships with great people.
After a busy morning chasing people around, I head to lunch, during which I enjoy a pleasant walk, coming back stronger and refreshed. Once I produce any work, (currently I am working on a power application for a new pumping station), I sit down with my line manager and checker in order to get the documents approved, where we discuss my findings and recommendations. This is where I have learned the most. Having an engineer with over 20 years of experience sit down with me and guide me towards best practice has been invaluable. I am proud to say I always strive to employ any teachings and tips to my work moving forward and hope to become better every day by doing so.
However, worry not. Writing reports on a desk and making phone calls are not the only things one does as a placement student at Mott MacDonald, by any means. I’ve had the chance to attend site visits in the most remote parts of Scotland allowing me to see the sights and plenty of pheasants on the way there. Other interesting experiences are lunch and learns where we receive a framework supplier and discuss their latest innovations and products over lunch.
A normal day in Mott MacDonald brings plenty of different scenarios. From facing challenging work my line manager has encouraged me to take on, to having meetings both internally and with suppliers or travelling around the country. All of this happens surrounded by a keen and caring team. All these reasons contributed to my decision of extending my placement to the very last day, just two days before my flat lease ends!