MEng Civil Engineering, 2021
Graduate Planner, Mott MacDonald
Within the Planning Team I support the monitoring of key activities on major infrastructure projects to ensure the project is running on time. Planning is very similar to project management as Planners are responsible for communicating changes and also get involved with the costings on projects.
Day-to-day, I check in with team leads to see how their activities are coming along, and relay to other planners to update the schedule accordingly. I also support the reporting process where we can review the proportion of activities running on time/behind schedule, as well as the reason they may be delayed.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
Getting to meet so many new people and learn about how projects are managed. We get to see first-hand how every piece of the project puzzle fits together and help the project succeed.
How has your career developed since graduating?
I am still early in my career, although I’m finding myself learning many new concepts and processes. More responsibility is coming my way as I undertake more training courses and understand more about the project. Since graduating, I have been focussing on other aspects alongside my role such as becoming a mentor with UoB and eventually an Alumni Ambassador.
What motivates you?
Building good working relationships and being a part of something worthwhile! The work itself has to be engaging and interesting, but for me it’s achieving something as a team that motivates me the most.
Why did you originally apply to the University of Birmingham?
On my first Open Day when I got off the train, the campus and surrounding area felt so homely. I could tell there was a proper sense of community within the University, as well as the Guild and School of Engineering. There was so much redevelopment happening in Birmingham, which was just the dream for a prospective Civil Engineering student! I was also aware that UoB had consistently ranked highly in university league tables for Civil Engineering and knew that they had strong industrial links that would help me with my early career development. The big appeal for myself was the focus on collaboration, and also the RESPECT scheme which aims to set you up for going into the world of work.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
There were many moments outside of studying such as having a BBQ in the summer on the Vale or going to the Birmingham Christmas Market (a must if you’re in Birmingham around the festive period)! Some of the best times came when we just submitted a group project that we’d been working on all semester, or when we were having a study session with course mates and could enjoy a laugh alongside our revision!
Did you get involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?
I was a part of the Civil Engineering Society where we had the opportunity to socialise with our coursemates, play sports and learn about the civil engineering industry. I made some close friends through CivSoc socials and have heard many other stories of students finding their future housemates through societies. I also skied and snowboarded with Brumski & Board. I hadn’t raced before university, but they allowed us to compete at national university competitions and gatherings and try out new activities like freestyle! They were a great laugh and have always been inclusive for those who haven’t skied before, running beginners’ lessons ready for their annual ski trip!
What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?
Make the most of resources around you. If you are struggling with a particular aspect of the course, there are lots of older students who have probably been stuck on the exact same problem! And don’t hesitate to get involved in different aspects of university life which will help you stand out for when you apply to placement or graduate roles.
“Take the opportunities that come your way! Say yes to that social! And try something new! University is a one-of-a-kind place where you can have so many new experiences whilst studying something really interesting.”