Abbie Roberts

MEng Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Year, 2018
Assistant Project Manager, Arup

On the consultancy side of things, I work on various projects with clients. Currently I am working with a client to provide technical input to their specification for a large-scale offshore windfarm within the UK. I work a lot with the team in Nottingham and work closely with the client to ensure that we deliver on our scope.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I love the diversity of projects that I get to work on and in my three years since graduating I have worked on a such a wide variety of projects even just within our energy sector. Due to the nature of the business our work is often challenging, but I believe this is what makes it exciting.

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Prior to graduating I knew I specifically wanted to work in the energy sector and I started at Arup as a Technical Mechanical Engineering Graduate in the Energy Team. After discovering I enjoyed project management more than a technical role, I decided to move over to the Energy Project Management tTeam earlier this year. Next month I am due to be moving to Thailand to undertake a 1 year assignment within a project management role on one of the a largest infrastructure projects in South East Asia. Since day one I have had complete control over my career direction and had the freedom to shape my own learning and experience.

Abbie Roberts headshot

What motivates you?

I find being surround by bright, intelligent people naturally motivates you. It also helps to work with people who are able to challenge your views and question why you are doing things a particular way.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

I joke with my parents that it was the Goldilocks effect – not too close to home, but not too far away. But in all honesty, I just felt so at home there when visiting on the open day.

How did you grow as a person by coming to University?

I thought I was independent before leaving home but I soon learned this was not the case. I missed home a fair amount, but this is completely normal. I definitely gained an appreciation of how important it is to stay in contact with people, and this is also true when working. As I wasn't sure what career I wanted when I started university, I was able to explore different areas that interested me.

What did you think of the learning experience within the University?

The learning programme was very well organised for our department. There was a fair amount of contact time compared to other courses, but I liked having this structure. The resources were all readily available to us and there were chances to also gain practical, hands-on experience as well through departmental societies.

What inspired you most during your time as a student?

Seeing everything that was going on around me. You are surrounded by so many technical experts that you will never fail to learn something new. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If something interests you find out who knows about it and go and speak to them; they will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you.

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Top tip from Abbie

“In the first few weeks it may feel all a bit overwhelming with so much going on, but just try to remember to take a step back. And don't be afraid to try something new.”