Site Engineer at JN Bentley

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Leeds Yorkshire and Humberside
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Administration/Secretarial Civil Engineering Computer and Systems Engineering Environmental Information Technology


The Role



The Role

Role Description

anaging; client, subcontractor and other stakeholder relationships, you will work closely alongside our design colleagues at Mott MacDonald. This provides you with the opportunity to apply plans and designs on sites that you have marked, levelled, and surveyed. You will assist us in maintaining a world-class safety culture by providing valuable input into health, safety, and environmental policies. This will include assistance with
inductions, challenging unsafe acts, attending training and complying with company safety rules. Other roles include; undertaking walkover assessments, preparing and compiling completion
documents and managing construction design projects.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I have greatly enjoyed being thrown into the placement into different job roles and responsibilities and the enjoyment of being challenged to learn new things on the job and solving different problems. I have been very lucky to be placed unto some dynamic and interesting projects during my placement which has made it all the more enjoyable. There has been periods where work I have been doing hasn't been quite interesting or beneficial to my learning as a placement student but for the most part I have learnt a lot.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

I would say that at the very start I hadn't felt like a valued colleague simply due to the disorganisation of the company getting me settled in and into the role I was supposed to fulfil in this placement, and so I felt somewhat out of place to begin with. After getting settled in I felt very much at home, people I worked with and the office, site team were all great people that were friendly inviting and helped me to get comfortable while offering insight in how to gain the most of my placement and some were of great help when I needed any help. I was given most of what I needed to get my work done effectively. I have been able to go to some great work socials and have had a blast with my work colleagues, have made some great friends here at the company. Its been great feeling very much part of the team, and knowing I haven't been categorised by my ethnic background or race, etc. I would say that coming towards the end of my placement that I did feel like I wasn't made to feel as valued due to the fact that it was public knowledge that I would be leaving soon and so was shifted into less focal roles etc., which is understandable but I think more work could be done in making that transition for the placement student and the company more smoother, apart from that I felt greatly valued for most of my placement.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I have had some great line managers during my placement that have ensured that I am having a worthwhile experience, and are willing to help me gain more experience that might be beneficial to my learning and getting the most from this placement. I was able to speak to management about my concerns, and these concerns were resolved with no delay.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

I have had times where I am been extremely busy, which has been great, getting involved in different aspects of the project. However there has been times that I haven't been given ,much to do and sometimes work hasn't been very engaging. I have also experienced situations were I have been moved from busy roles into roles are less productive and engaging for me.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

Quite surprisingly, I was given a fair bit of responsibility during my placement and placed in roles I wasn't expected to be placed in as a placement student, which was absolutely great. It was sometimes challenging, because sometimes the right amount of preparation and information for some of these roles hadn't been given. Great things is that I was able to learn from this.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I have gained a great deal of different skills in numerous areas and from different projects, which not only assist me with my studies but in life and in the future generally. I have developed greater skills in areas such as time management leadership delegation, communicating information as well as technical skills relative to site engineering roles, risk assessment, method statements and commercial/ procurement skills relating to building construction packs getting order for site, to name a few.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The general atmosphere of the office was great people are friendly and welcoming, especially once I got settled in. It was a bit weird at the start especially because the way the office is set up it was a bit difficult to introduce myself to people, especially when people were focused dong work or the office was quiet. Once settles the office atmosphere was great, a great balance with being able to focus on my work as well as chat will colleagues from time to time, or ask for help when needed. I made some good friends very quickly.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

I think the organisation of the placement could do with a great deal of improvement. I would say that at the very start I hadn't felt like a valued colleague simply due to the disorganisation of the company getting me settled in and into the role I was supposed to fulfil in this placement, and so I felt somewhat out of place to begin with. Sometimes this makes it harder to get the job done when you doing really have a solid idea of what I should be doing or the role I should be fulfilling. The great thing about the placement set up is that to a certain extent its great being thrown in the deep end because I have I have learnt how to do things on the job, which I quite enjoy and I like the challenge. None the less a bit more structure is required on the grand scheme of things.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I think JN Bentley is very great in giving training to staff members, I have been able to receive health and safety training to receive my CSCS card to work officially on site. As well as training for use certain software such as CIvil3D and BIM training. I would say that more training could be provided for placement students, especially when being placed in important roles, this saves money from little mistakes being made as well as helping to prepare for the role. I did feel sometimes the company was a bit hesitant to give some training due to the fact that I was a placement student, but I do feel that making an little more investment in placement students will be more of an incentive for placement students wanting to come back to the company.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Above 25 days holiday

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

Prospects are fairly good at JN Bentley, there definitely is a great opportunity to get a good promotion within a few years of working in the company. There isn't any discrimination in regards to age and flexibility is given to people relating to your current performance as oppose to progression being based predominantly on prior experience. It definitely is a great company to work with to acquire skills and training especially at the start of your career.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

There were a few events that were organised amongst the placement students but it seems we all had to organise this for ourselves and the company didn't really do much to get us all in contact with each other. It was a bit difficult to get to know who were the placement students within my region as so many of us started at different times and we have all been spread out in different areas, so I think more could be done to get placement students together during the year and more social activities/events to be organised moving forward. I have been able to make connections with some placement students and build great relationships with them, we've been able to help each other also.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The cost of living wasn't too bad as I didn't live far from the office, however for traveling and meeting social events it was sometimes a bit expensive due to me having to travel to construction sites outside of Leeds by train and most of the social events being in Leeds. As far as the social events themselves they were not too expensive and were often at fairly nice places near the river which was nice. It is definitely worth it getting a car for your placement, it makes moving around a lot more easy to do.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The nightlife was great, the office I worked in for my placement was quite close to the city centre, so it was fairly easy to go for a drink with some colleagues after work. And very easy to get some bar and clubs in the city centre, not to mention there are some nice places not too far from the office.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There were a few little events that were organised by the workplace that took place outside of work, but not much was organized in this department, and some events were far to get to. As far as events e.g. workshops, seminars or conferences not much was organised for placement students outside of work and there wasn't much flexibility for placement students to attend these kind of events in our own time due to working hours and would often involve having to book a day off work to attend these events or any other kind of events. The good thing is that the system for booking days off was fairly straightforward. To improve this, an allowance should be given to go to maybe 5 days of activities that promote learning of some kind of professional skills.