1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role covers creating presentations for meetings/clients, spreadsheets for reports, and writing up minutes from meetings - mainly. I also volunteer as a first aider and fire warden once a day/week I do checks. There are also opportunities for volunteering outside the company too. Usually, I have an assigned mentor who gives me work to do.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am developing my Excel, PowerPoint, and speaking skills. This is quite good as I am gradually growing in confidence. Along with that, my CAD skills which are (slowly) growing - I am well supported with this although it is something I need to be self-motivated for. Writing and communicating in a professional setting is also something that I have learnt.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy it, as well as can be expected for uni. It does cover a range of topics and while the days are long with 8 hours of lectures, it is what I signed up for. Though this often does get very tiring and many of us lose concentration through lectures since we are being talked at for so long. Perhaps some class interaction would help/teamwork. The lecturers give good information packs too.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It's pretty well organized, the lecturers know what they're doing. The only problem was in the first term where I was never inducted, so I don't know much about uni life but personally, it doesn't bother me. The lecturers have nice notes that are written up and put onto the VLE for us to review, this makes revising a lot easier.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I am very well supported by my employer. If I would like extra training, webinars and seminars are available every day. And if I would like to go on a paid course, as long as I can justify it, the company is happy to pay. WSP is keen to see its employees constantly developing and working on their CPD.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I receive a good amount of support from South Bank University. The course managers and lecturers make it clear that if help is required, their door is always open (though usually for 1 hour per week). This is fine, as they are easily accessible via email and do reply within the week. There has also been advice sent out to students in the form of regular emails which is sometimes nice.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The plain and simple education part of it really helps. With getting to know the slang of the industry and how it works, to learning how certain machinery or systems are put together. The calculations and equations that we learn are often applied within my job too (although mainly through modelling) - it would help if we could learn more about modelling scenarios as not many people do calculations by hand in my role.
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.)
Yes, there are many networking events for people my age, even a group for black and ethnic minorities in the company. There are social teams in every office so there are plenty of socials which are often free. There is a running group, volunteering group, and stem ambassador mentors. The company also has its own social network that connects you to people all around the world with similar interests.
9a. Would you recommend WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to a friend?
WSP is a very welcoming company, where diversity and inclusivity are evident goals. There are good company benefits, the salary is fair and the chance for career progression is huge. There are opportunities cropping up constantly with chances to go abroad and meet new people in the industry every day.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff?
Read the website, look at their values and make sure that they aline with yours. Make sure that your goals and aspirations can be supported by them and let them know how you are of value. Be confident. Speak only of your strong points. Be sociable and warm and show that you are a good team worker (back up what you say).