Jo Maguire (BSc Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience, 2015) tells us how she's adjusting to graduate life at Mott MacDonald.

Following my graduation from the University of Birmingham with a MEng Civil Engineering degree I have gone on to work for Mott Macdonald, a multidisciplinary consultancy company. I work in the Birmingham office which specialises in buildings and infrastructure projects and I am currently working in the Light Rapid Transit team. One of the biggest projects I have been involved in is the Midland Metro extensions through Birmingham city centre. I have been supporting the completion of the next stage of the tram network past Victoria Square and onto Broad Street. I have also been responsible for some preliminary alignment designs on the extension to Birmingham Airport. One of the highlights of my time as a graduate was being able to attend the naming ceremony of one of the Midland Metro trams by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It was a fantastic event and as a native Brummie it was fantastic to see the support and excitement for a project that I have worked on.

The transition from student to graduate has been a challenge; it is a very different environment. In the office there is a much higher standard of work; it’s not just a pass grade – everything you produce has to be 100% or you have to do it again. Also, you don’t have as much of a clear life plan, you have moved past the aim of getting a degree and not exceeding your overdraft; if you want something, it’s up to you. However, on a positive note, this does mean that you can build your own career and life by really focusing on the things that you are interested in. You also get a huge sense of achievement from producing a quality piece of work for a job and getting paid for your hard work. I have to admit though, I do miss the long holidays!