During my time at Arup I was fortunate to work on a numerous prestigious projects with some of the best engineers who went above and beyond in guiding me through the year and teaching me. Beside a vibrant work environment I had wonderful socials and made good working relations with many colleagues and made some best friends.
Upon joining Arup I was put on project teams who were very welcoming and made me feel home. From senior members of the team to colleagues I was working with day to day, did not fail to provide me with help and making me feel part of the team, encouraging me to speak up in meetings and take part in social events. Arup was/is family and home, and I loved every day of working there.
However, I was given enough guidance when needed, I had to be vocal about what I need help in. I realised this 3,4 months into my placement and after that my time at Arup was much more convenient. I learnt it was okay to “not know” and to “ask questions”.
For most of the time during my placement, my daily business was “perfectly balanced”. However, there were times nearer the project deadlines and the last month of my placement which I felt a little “too busy”, however that was on my own will and was not forced to do “Extra”.
I was given multiple design tasks during my time at Arup. The amount of design responsibilities started low in importance and priority but were then escalated as I gained experience and learnt to operate the design softwares. My advice to then myself would be, to ask for variable design work and speak up if tasked with repetitive tasks.
As cliche as this may sound but this one year at Arup was more of a lesson for life than merely a lesson and practice of structural engineering. It has changed my perspective of life, my behaviour with people around me, and has made me a better person in many other ways. I owe all of these to kind, courageous, smart and inspirational colleagues and bosses around me. It has allowed me to make a more informed decision for my future career steps and will greatly help me tackle the work at university.
There was always something going on! Socials, leaving drinks, welcoming lunches and etc. I found out later in the year that there were many more activities like football club, cricket, mountain climbing etc.. so you had to be out going and ask for activities. Definitely a lot of fun.
The placement was much more alike to someone starting as a graduate which had its drawbacks and benefits. Benefits included: - you working your way around and familiarising yourself with the system without being spoon-fed which would help you in talking to other colleague and asking questions. Great way to build network and learn as a hand on experience. Drawbacks : - You could waste a lot of valuable time trying to learn or understand simple things. - Not having a direct point of contact. I.e. line manager could prove challenging as you wouldn’t know who to report to initially or who to ask for a day off etc. At Arup you usually work with your project lead. I believe Arup could structure the placement better. I have provided my feedback as to how this could be done to senior management and resourcing teams.
Even though, I was not provided with any specific courses as it was the company policy I was given enough training while on the jobs. For instance learning GSA was mostly done when I was working on 6-8BG project. I also had a lot of exposure to other design software.
Working from home
Even though I had a fairly good working record and had built good working relations with the team and the colleagues I was not offered a graduate job. However, I was given good feedbacks and from senior directors to junior colleagues have pointed, they want me back in the team once I graduate.
London is an expensive city to live and work in, even though the salaries are weighted up it is worth bearing this in mind. My advice would be to look for accommodation as early as possible and perhaps as close to work as possible.
There were so many bars and pubs around the area. The office was in close proximity to Piccadilly Circus and oxford street which had even better nightlife.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
13th September 2019