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Neill (Graduate Engineer) presenting at the UK Graduate weekend

United Kingdom / Environment / Graduate engineer

Neill Brauders

Neill receiving Third Place at the ICE Graduate of the Year Award 2013
Neill on his first overseas mission with Mott MacDonald to Egypt

Personally, as a graduate, the atmosphere here is particularly vibrant because there are so many like-minded young professionals with whom to share experiences and call on in times of uncertainty.

Why did you choose to join Mott MacDonald?

Consultancy in the field of civil engineering offers an infinite variety of engineering challenges, from pushing the boundaries of low carbon and sustainable construction to tackling future water and energy resource challenges. It was this depth of opportunity and the chance to help develop new, innovative engineering solutions that drew me to Mott MacDonald. A recognised industry leader in the UK and internationally, Mott MacDonald is also an employee owned group, meaning that staff interests are at the very heart of the company’s operation. From my very first encounter with Human Resources the emphasis that Mott MacDonald put on staff satisfaction was apparent. The interview process was swift and uncomplicated. I accepted the job offer just one hour following my interview in Cambridge!

What is the best thing about your role?

It’s the diversity - working in the Water and Environment Unit I have managed to work on a large variety of projects across multiple sectors. I have spent time on secondment at Thames Water consulting on asset management, designing dams and hydraulic structures for projects in Zambia and Pakistan, assessing flood risks right in Cambridgeshire, assisting with various aspects of HS2, and in Egypt finalising a new National Water Resources Plan. The best thing about my role is the abundance and variety of opportunities to develop as an engineer, which is enhanced by the consistent support of my management.     

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

Being an employee owned company the culture at Mott MacDonald is shaped by the personalities of its staff. For me the most prominent aspects of the culture here are the global mutual respect between staff, emphasis on employee fulfilment and professional development, and a constant aspiration to achieve excellence in our work. Personally, as a graduate, the atmosphere here is particularly vibrant because there are so many like-minded young professionals with whom to share experiences and call on in times of uncertainty.       

How has your career developed at Mott MacDonald?

Following five years studying civil engineering at University I believed that I was certain of my desired future career path – hydraulic design engineer. Since starting at Mott MacDonald I have been exposed to such an exciting diversity of roles and, hence, realised that pigeonholing myself into a defined role at this early stage in my career is not what I want. Here I have had the chance to gain experience with Mott MacDonald’s hydraulic structures, water resources, flood risk and international development teams, which has given me a more comprehensive view of the water sector. Responsibility comes quick here, which is great, and so I have been prompted to gain the commercial and managerial skills necessary to be a Project Manager. I have a great interest in global water resources and have just returned from my first overseas mission to Egypt where I put all the skills that I have learned thus far to good use.

Aside from project based learning I have been given the chance to further participate in the industry through a variety of conference presentations, joining the ICE’s Water Panel and supporting a host internal Mott MacDonald innovation and business development focused initiatives. The support that I have received in this aspect of my development to has exceeded any of my expectations, this really is one of the great things about working here. 

What has been your favourite Mott MacDonald social event?

The Mott MacDonald Graduate Weekend is famous as one of the most exciting and extravagant graduate corporate introductions in the industry. The weekend invites all recent graduates to a luxurious South London hotel where getting to know your peers is top of the agenda. The event truly is great fun and includes the chance to pick the brain of the Mott MacDonald board over dinner and drinks in what becomes a very relaxed and honest atmosphere. I have been lucky enough to attend this event on various occasions not only as an inductee but also as a graduate ambassador for Mott MacDonald. The experience has not only allowed me to enjoy the event on more than one occasion, but the chance to develop my public speaking skills – presenting and taking questions from hundreds of graduates and the Group board is a unique and fun learning platform.   

What is a random fact about you?

Aside from being a football and music fanatic, I have a repertoire of hobbies that people find entertaining. As a youngster I spent ten years as a competitive gymnast and won a host of national gold medals – which I tried without success to keep secret for years, for obvious reasons. I then followed up my gymnastics career by dedicating my time to Kickboxing and became the captain of my university team. To me gymnastics and kickboxing fit very well together, however, this opinion is one that generally meets with some opposition! 

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