1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to assist in the delivery of highways projects within our infrastructure midlands team. I work as part of a larger project team to deliver the scheme as per the clients requirements. A typical day for me involves designing highway elements such as creating new alignments for roads, or creating 3D corridors which show more detailed aspects of the carriageway. The design work involves collaboration with multiple disciplines in order to get a compliant design which meets the requirements of the client without compromise of industry standards.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been able to develop my skills in highway design through attending various courses such as introduction to highways, introduction to bridges and introduction to geotechnics. These courses have gave me a better insight into the design considerations needed to undertake a compliant design. I am also studying a part time level 6 BEng degree in Civil Engineering, which is teaching me all about our industry.
I have been lucky enough to also rotate into a different job role to gain an understanding of the commercial aspects and project management. This gave me a great insight into how a project needs to be monitored financially in order to achieve a successful project both technically and commercially.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my apprenticeship programme as I am getting a variety of work, undertaking design on high profile projects which are at the forefront of technology within our industry. I have been able to develop new skills and enhance existing skills being pushed to better myself. I have received work class training in a range of softwares which enable me to help drive the company forward in terms of it's BIM capabilities.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship programme is very clear in terms of where you are expected to be at each stage within the framework. I.e it breaks down every year of the apprenticeship programme in terms of what modules you will be learning. You are also give a mentor who is there to guide you through your studies and ensure that the work you are doing is relevant to your progression, further to this you are given a supervising Civil Engineer who looks after your professional progression within an institution.
However there seems to be a misunderstanding surrounding the off the job training aspect of the apprenticeship, which is causing confusion between apprentice, employer and training provider.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Arup is very good at providing support for it's employees, it provides many great corporate perks such as discounts from high street brands, discounted flights ect. Arup also provide a great health insurance and pension package, the health insurance comes with a regular health assessment which tracks things such as blood pressure, glucose levels, BMI ect.
Arup are very supportive over extra work you do for example I am heavily involved within the ICE and Arup allow me to have the time off to attend ICE meeting's. This support is great as it means I am able to help develop myself and keep Arup in the loop with the latest going's on within the ICE.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Each apprentice is given a mentor, line manager and supervising civil engineer who are responsible for the overseeing of the apprentices training, work and professional qualifications progress. You have regular meetings with the individuals to discuss progress and raise any problems you are having and you then come up with an action plan to ensure you are meeting the apprenticeship requirements.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Working towards my BEng in civil engineering is beneficial to me both in work and when studying. As I have seen a lot of the content that we are learning being applied onto a real life project, so therefore when learning the concepts behind the application the terminology used isn't new to myself meaning I can gain an understanding of the concepts quicker than a full time student.
The content that I am learning at Uni allows me to get more involved with conversations on my project as I am gaining a better understanding of the technical aspects as I am learning this during my uni course. This makes working on a project more efficient as I am able to use correct terminology and ask more specific questions in order to gain the best answers.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Within Arup I am involved in helping out with the teams resourcing, this requires me to monitor an update the spreadsheet which tracks what each member is working on and how long they are planned to work on that project. This role has allowed me to develop my communication skills as well as being able to develop my excel skills to provide better clarity regarding the teams availability.
I am also involved in helping out the Tenders portfolio, this role requires me to set up tracker and take examples of good and bad bids and record the feedback into a tracker. This information can then be used going forward in future bids to help Arup win work.
9a. Would you recommend Arup to a friend?
The Arup apprenticeship allows you to work on real life projects which are nationally/ globally significant, whilst gaining excellent training in both technical and soft skills to develop oneself. The apprenticeship has a dedicated support network to ensure the individual is progressing at the right level and is not being too stretched.
This is all without the corporate perks such as discounted brand, health insurance, life insurance, competitive pension scheme, profit share and much more. It is also a great place to work with it's friendly work atmosphere.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Arup?
Researching into the company is essential when applying to Arup, if you can make reference to projects within your application or interview process this will stand out. Just make sure that you show your passion for engineering during the application process and remember that any experience you have is good experience and you can learn something from it.
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