1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a structural engineering trainee my daily tasks was to collaborate with the design team in London on a current project. This task involved meeting engineers and designers in formal and informal meetings. I was responsible for helping to design the steel floor framework of the structure. Effective communication and mutual understanding of the project progress was a crucial element of working at Arup.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my time at Arup, my skills constantly and consistently developed. These improved skills included logical thinking, mathematical, communicative and organisational skills. As I became more involved in the design process my skills began to develop more consistently, as everyday posed a new challenge. In addition, there are many training courses and free lunchtime talks/networking sessions; these really helped to build confidence and understand the Civil Engineering profession better.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed the placement. There was always work to do, projects to get involved in. Also, there are so many new concepts to learn. There is consistently new people to meet and engage with. My work was very hands on, engaging with other firms and carrying out useful structural calculations. Overall it was very interesting and enjoyable.
4. How valued do you feel by Arup?
Arup is brilliant at making everyone feel valued and part of a team. The staff are friendly and love to engage in sports, socials and out of hour events. There are many parties and clubs to join. It is an exciting and fun way to meet people and get to know staff members better. In my time I also took part in the social committee, it was fun to engage with staff members in a more social and fun environment.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The placement was very well organised. The company is experienced at providing high quality placements. It really shows through the great experience that Arup has provided me. The work is set to the right level, challenging enough to keep me thinking, but not too hard to involve overtime work. Therefore, the placement work was organised to the correct level, thus, I really enjoyed my placement.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Throughout my time at Arup, I had an external mentor. The mentor was very useful in providing information for a vast range of topics. From specific topics such as day to day work activities to wider topics regarding references and performance review.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There is always support and guidance available. Arup staff are very helpful and always willing to give some time to explain a concept or procedure. There is a large amount of online resources that is available for staff members. Senior members will be happy to guide younger/less experienced engineers to the correct documents.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
This very much depends on location. In London living, travel, daily and social costs are considerably higher than the rest of the UK. However, the salary does take this into account and is more than sufficient for a reasonable lifestyle, especially for a gap year placement student (undergraduate).
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are always many opportunities outside of work the company has regular social events, any reason to have a celebration is taken. Arup is also very charitable, it often runs events to raise money for a variety of charities throughout the year; it is always a pleasure to engage in these events. London is full of events and social activities, there is something for everyone - cinemas, gyms, sports, restaurants, bar, clubs...ect. There is always lots to do and something to engage in. It is crucial to be proactive and just get involved.
9. Would you recommend Arup to a friend?
From experience, Arup is a well-rounded firm. It provided challenging work but meets the social expectations of living in London. The staff are very helpful and understanding. The projects are always interesting and challenging. It is a joy to work for Arup.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Arup?
The application form is key, read and re-read the questions. Answer carefully and honestly. On the interview day, be confident and express yourself and show the research that you have undertaken. On the whole, the application process for gap year applicants isn't too demanding. It is all about expressing yourself at interview, with a good online application that truly reflects who you are.
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