Industrial Trainee (Civils - Site Development) at Arup

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Solihull, Birmingham
Review Date

3.8/5

The Role
4.3
The Company
3.8
The Culture
3.1

Role Description

The 'Civils- Site Development’ team falls under the ‘Infrastructure’ section of Arup’s business, and focuses on the provision of roads, earthworks, utilities, sewerage and water supply. During a role with the team, you would be working on infrastructure works, at both a small and large scale, and completing technical drawings, engineering designs and drafting CDM documentation. You would be expected to have a good attention to detail, be able to self-review your work and communicate well with others.

The Role

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

I thoroughly enjoyed my placement from start to finish. It was great to be placed into a team which more closely aligned with my career aspirations and interests compared to previous placements I have had. The project work given to me was very interesting and enjoyable, varying from large scale infrastructure project to smaller scale pavement design works. I felt valued by the team, being given tasks of responsibility on project work, and roles to assist team management.
5 /5

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

The team were incredibly welcoming. I was welcomed into the team and treated like anyone with permanent role at the company; becoming involved in the coordination of team resourcing, having my own company appraisal and attending social events. Having been given tasks of responsibility during my time on placement, it was great to be trusted to contribute to active project work. Colleagues asked for my input and thoughts on tasks, testing and looking to develop my knowledge even if I was unfamiliar with the work.
5 /5

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

I was always offered support for work if needed. On more difficult or complex tasks, colleagues often followed it up with a confirmation email to consolidate any learnings or work set. This was very useful and exemplified my colleague’s efforts to make me feel comfortable in my work. A company appraisal, to allow time for me and my line manager to reflect on my progress and look at areas I could improve, was hugely valuable. This was not just in terms of my time with Arup, but for my time left at university and wider career.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

For the vast majority of my placement I had a decent and balanced workload. Early on during my placement, as I was settling into the team, I was less busy as I became accustomed to the Arup processes and completed training exercises. However, after that I was typically consistently busy working towards project deadlines; the amount of work for me to complete typically depended on the business of the team and the upcoming project deadlines.
4 /5

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

As part of my role, I was certainly given tasks of responsibility. For instance, on a major infrastructure project the team was working on, I was completing technical drawing work to standard and to the deadlines in place. I was expected to self-assess this work, as well as co-ordinated it with colleagues. Other tasks included involvement in smaller-scale pavement design works and assisting with the team resourcing management
4 /5

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

During my placement, I made improvements in several areas. My technical skills, project planning knowledge, interpersonal ability and, consequently, my Continuous Professional Development (CPD) has all been greatly developed. On a basic level, my organisational and communication skills will be invaluable during the remainder of my time at university. Furthermore, my experience of self-reviewing all my work to industry standards, practical engineering design considerations for pavement works and technical CAD skills will be very valuable in industry.
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The office had an excellent atmosphere. There was an excellent balance between serious working and having periodic breaks with colleagues. Certainly, everyone in the working environment was invested in not just their work, but bettering themselves and the company. This was exemplified by people always being happy to help you if you had a query. The office also was excellent for company events, such as social, charity or sessions to better your own personal development.
4 /5

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

The placement was very well organised. I was given training wherever necessary to complete tasks. I was involved with the team and treated the same as any permanent member of the company. My line manager and other team members were always looking to try and find interesting work for me to do. During the period after lock-down due to COVID-19, I was well looked after having been provided a laptop to enable me to work from home.
5 /5

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

I was given training and experience in a number of areas, such as various CAD software, Health and Safety documentation and pavement design. It is worth noting the CPD opportunities on offer at Arup are also excellent. There are consistently Continuous Professional Development Opportunities organised and run to ensure that its employees are in the best place to keep innovating and maintain their digital development; I would recommend placement students to take advantage of these.
4 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • There were no perks with this Placement Year
3 /5

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

A future role with the company and with the team is very appealing to me. Arup is very well respected, and they are certainly invested in constantly innovating, they value sustainability in design and always aim to keep up with industry trends. Providing a job opportunity is available for a graduate role, there is a prospect of me potentially returning to the company in the future. Arup do seem keen to invest in its placement students and gauge if they are suitable for further roles in the company.
4 /5

The Culture

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

There were several social events run for the whole office and my team. I had both a team and office Christmas meal, which were great to attend. I also had several meals out with colleagues across the year. Within the office I was in there were a limited number of yearly placement students. However, with a large graduate and apprentice intake this did not mean I felt left out in terms of social events with people my age. I made excellent friends with a number of graduates and other trainees, going out for meals and nights out together throughout the year.
5 /5

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

I was fortunate to be able to live at home for the duration of my placement, meaning my cost of living was very low for the year. Travel-wise I managed to liftshare with a colleague which helped to keep costs down.
3 /5

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

Around the office itself, due to its location there isn’t much in terms of ‘social venues’. However, the transport links are sufficient to be able to get to the town/city centre for social events pretty easily.
2 /5

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

Aside from the social events on offer, I believe there were also opportunities for charity or educational outreach activities.
4 /5