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United Kingdom / Environment / Environmental consultant

Josh Stroud

Josh completing an Ecology survey

"Being part of Mott MacDonald gives me the opportunity to work on some of the world’s most exciting infrastructure schemes, both large and small scale."

How has your career developed since joining Mott MacDonald as a graduate?

Since starting as a graduate, I have been fortunate to have been given increasing amounts of responsibility, allowing me to branch out my technical expertise, providing me with the skill-set to take my career to the next level.

I spent a year working in our Leeds office in the UK, before moving over to Manchester where I have worked since. The move meant I took on a greater role in developing business opportunities, a challenge I have relished.

Being asked to lead meetings, go to visit clients or coordinate works on site has taken me out of my comfort zone, but in a thoroughly positive way. It is always nice to know my manager is there to support me if I have concerns or need a friendly voice down the phone if there is an urgent issue on site!

Gaining practice in coordinating my own projects has been fantastic for developing a sense of responsibility and understanding of the complexities faced by the wider environment team, and I am grateful that Mott MacDonald has allowed me to do this.

Now with four years’ experience, my achievements as a graduate have meant I am now a project manager for environmental schemes. I enjoy that I am now a mentor to new graduates, helping them develop their own careers in the ways in which they want.

What are your favourite projects that you have worked on?

I acted as environmental lead as part of the team designing and building a new railway viaduct in the UK. Not only did I need to make sure that construction met the agreed environmental objectives, I also had to overcome any challenges as they arose on site. Having to tackle unforeseen complications first hand on-site helped me gain the experience to provide guidance to others on similar schemes.

What is the best thing about working at Mott MacDonald?

For me it’s the variety, both in terms of projects and teams. Being part of Mott MacDonald gives me the opportunity to work on some of the world’s most exciting infrastructure schemes, both large and small scale. I have gained experience across a number of disciplines such as ecology and archaeology, benefiting both my professional development and personal curiosity.

I love working in our multi-disciplinary teams, with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. I believe this helps make ours an enjoyable place to work, and that this enables us to provide higher quality to our clients. Different perspectives help look for new opportunities and reduce risk, which is at the heart of how we provide services to our clients. Variety is very much the spice of life.

What do you think makes Mott MacDonald unique?

What makes Mott MacDonald unique for me is the sheer range of opportunities on offer, and yet without feeling overwhelmed by the size of the organisation. The environment team at Mott MacDonald is big, but I have worked with almost everyone in it at some point or another since I joined, and it has made it feel like a community. There are always opportunities for me to go visit other offices and meet people in person, who I have perhaps only spoken to on the phone. With a smaller organisation, there wouldn’t be such a large range of projects and disciplines to get involved with.

What support have you had whilst working towards your chartership?

I have a chartership mentor with whom I have regular catch-ups regarding progress and what I should do to improve. I also have a line manager, we have set goals and objectives that I should be achieving to ensure that my projects align with my objectives for chartership. Becoming chartered is taken very seriously at Mott MacDonald, these objectives are targets for me follow throughout the year, and are recorded in a form which is reviewed regularly to track my progress.

What advice would you give to current students applying to Mott MacDonald?

I would definitely recommend students undertake a period of work experience or an internship. Graduate candidates who can demonstrate that they have an understanding of our business’ needs, and the way in which we work, will always stand out. It provides future candidates with an ability to demonstrate insight into our work and it also provides an opportunity for employers to see how well you work. It can aid students with their university work, seeing how academic study is then applied by us.

I have been responsible for taking care of work experience and internship students, and it is rewarding to be able to work with them to develop themselves and work out their career objectives. Many of them are now working in my team.

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