• Assisted the senior site manager with ground works, piling, concrete frame, inspecting concrete elements prior to being poured and resolving technical issues on site.
• Managed health and safety on site and the majority of the associated documentation.
• Managed the brickwork, temporary electrics and temporary office dry lining packages.
• Developed and managed the project QA system on site.
• Responsible for all site welfare facilities and material deliveries.
• Developed close industrial contacts with the use of professional and friendly communicational skills.
• Monitored and analysed results from site environmental, vibration and inclinometer stations which were then incorporated into a monthly board report.
• Managed and communicated extensively over the telephone with subcontractors and suppliers which developed excellent communication skills.
• Attended site design meetings in order to advise on any current or foreseeable site construction issues via verbal communication and technical drawings.
• Attended monthly payment meetings with the QS to advise on current works completed in order to issue subcontractor payments.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed the nature and diversity of the work I faced on a daily basis. Overall I really enjoyed my placement, although the head office bureaucracy spoiled my experience slightly.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
In the beginning it was a bit challenging to gain the confidence of my colleagues as they were very senior and did not have much experience with placement student, but after a few weeks I was chin deep in responsibilities and quickly became a vital part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My team was excellent. Although there was poor communication between the HR team and my project director (Whom was supposed to be my supervisor), I quickly realised the issue and requested for a new supervisor more suitable for the task. My new supervisor was extremely good in providing guidance and support with any difficulties I had. My supervisor and I had regular meetings 2 - 3 times a week, where we would discuss current construction progress on site and any difficulties I am currently facing. I couldn't have asked for a better supervisor.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The nature of my position as a assistant site manager meant that I was quite busy on a daily basis, dealing with real-time issues on site. Although it was quite busy, there were periods where the work load died down a bit and also go quite hectic.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement. Although it took about 2 months to settle in and gain the teams confidence, I was given the responsibility of co-managing the concrete frame package, managing the brick and blockwork package, directing the considerate constructors scheme, managing health, safety and environment issues on site and finally developing and managing the quality management system on site.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The experience and skills I learned during my 12 month placement have helped me extensively during my final year at university and have helped me secure a graduate engineering position. I have been able to apply the technical, practical and interpersonal and skills and knowledge which I learned during my placement at university and in graduate application processes.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As I was based on site, the general atmosphere was great. The only thing that brought the team vibe down was the poor leadership and interpersonal skills that the project director had. This is a challenging question to answer as the team was excellent and I would rate them a 10/10 but unfortunately the PD brings the rating down to a 6.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement scheme was well structured but poorly executed! I arrived on site, completely unexpected. The team hadn't been notified of my assignment or arrival. The site time were unaware of the placement programme and what was required of me.
(The site team was excellent and very accommodating). The HR team can seriously improve this as I was very disappointed and felt out of place.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested massive amounts of time and money into my personal development. Every course was fully paid for by the company:
- SMSTS (5 days)
- Scaffold inspection training
- Fire Marshal training
- First Aid training (3 days)
- Basic crane awareness course
- Quality management training
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I was offered a position to return to the company but due to changes with in the company the offer is currently off the table, but future prospects are still quite strong.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social vibe amongst my fellow placement colleagues was not very good as we were spread across the UK. Although when we did come together for training events, the social atmosphere was great.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in central London (Zone 1) and lived in the outskirts of London (Zone 7). Luckily the company paid for my commute to and from work, but this is only because I was based on site. The area where I lived was not too expensive. The rent was £1100/pm but I was fortunate enough to stay with my partner. London itself is quite expensive, but this is expected. I was able to do something every weekend on an okay budget. The great thing about working and living near London is that there is always something to do!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in central London is great and now that they have the night tube running it is much more affordable to go out on the weekends.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a couple of opportunities but it was mainly arranged around your close colleagues.