What made you want to join the construction industry in the first place?
My dad is a project manager so I got to see what the construction industry was like from a young age. He was involved in projects in the UK and abroad, including projects in the Caribbean and China – I got to see the Shanghai Tower while he was working in the area, and I was fascinated by that and the other skyscrapers nearby. I remember going to a meeting with him once and feeling more drawn to the design process – I’ve always loved designing things and putting them together. I loved making things with Lego as a child, and at school my favourite subjects were those where I could be creative, such as art, graphics and design and technology. I love the process of starting with a concept and continually refining your ideas until you ended up with a finished product.
How did you go about getting onto your current programme?
I studied maths, physics and graphics at college, and about halfway through the course I started thinking about my next steps; how I would go about becoming a civil engineer? I decided that an apprenticeship would be the best option for me so I had a look through the Government’s apprenticeship website and applied for the civil engineering options that stood out. I could have gone to university, but wanted to get work experience whilst learning.
What have you done so far?
I’ve been working in our highways team recently and have learnt a lot about using design software including AutoCAD 2015 and vehicle-tracking software, which I’ve used to virtually test whether vehicles will fit a proposed layout. I even had to animate this in 3D once for a client. I’ve also been involved in putting together a detailed statement of work, prices, and dimensions for a few projects. This really helped give an insight into the cost of construction projects and how the construction process works.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
I am continuing to develop my understanding of the construction process and would like to complete a degree and gain chartered status. These qualifications and experience are recognized internationally and would allow me to work around the world. At the moment I see myself possibly working in structures, but I plan to get experience in lots of areas of engineering before specialising in a particular sector.
What do all your mates think of what you do?
Some of my friends who went to university think my apprenticeship is great because I get paid!
Where do you think we will see you in ten years’ time?
I’d love to be qualified to use unmanned aerial vehicle technology – I think they can be of huge benefit to the construction industry, whether for maintenance purposes or for 3D modelling.