In my role as a graduate engineer, I'm enrolled on the Byrne Bros Graduate Training Scheme. This scheme is designed to enable me to gain the skills and experience required to apply for chartered status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
Every three months I rotate through various departments of the company e.g. Site Engineering, QA Engineering, OHS&E, Construction Planning, Commercial Management and Assurance.
To be a successful engineer you will definitely need a combination of technical and soft skills
Tell us more about your role
Through the graduate scheme that I'm on, I'm getting the chance to gain knowledge and experience fields, which is an excellent opportunity to make the best use of my Civil Engineering degree.
The sort of duties I'm involved with include management of concrete works and its compliance to standards and project specification, coordination of temporary works during the design and erection stage, quality assurance on a large slipformed core with complex reinforcement details and vertical and horizontal post-tensioning.
These are only just a few of them!
Whats your working day like?
My day is strongly influenced by the department I'm currently working in, and that changes every three months! On site for instance, at the beginning of the day I usually go out to the job to see site supervisors and foremen to discuss the daily plan and to ensure everything runs well.
I spend much of the day circulating between the office and site. We solve problems, attend meetings, inspect the works and ensure everything is in good shape.
What was your background before starting this role?
I have always liked buildings, structures and cities in general. I decided to study Urban Design at school but after completing this, I was not fully satisfied with the level of technical skills and I was eager to learn more. It may sound comical, but when I was passing a construction site and saw all the operatives and plant working it really excited me and I wanted to be part of creating something great.
So I decided to enroll on a Civil Engineering degree at Warsaw University of Technology.This was one of the best decisions in my life!
Shortly before completing my second degree, I started to look for a permanent job in the industry. I wanted to work abroad to further my skills and abilities and as my course was taught in English I decided to send my CV to some of the UK’s top tier contractors. I was offered an Assistant Site Engineer role with Byrne Bros. and that's how my professional career started.
There are numerous opportunities available in construction, no matter where you are from or what your background is.
What skills do you most need in your job?
To be a successful engineer you will definitely need a combination of technical skills and soft skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills. To develop a solution to a given problem you may need to be very analytical, but to convince people about your idea and to make it work you need to communicate well to various people and use your management abilities.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In the short-term I want to complete my ICE Chartership and become a fully qualified engineer with a strong theoretical and practical background. I'd also like to undertake more responsibility on more complex and demanding projects.
The beauty of the construction industry is that there are countless possibilities all over the world!
A bit of advice for anyone thinking about a career in construction?
I would simply say: go for it! Whether you're more of a site or an office person, technical or managerial – it doesn't matter.
You will always find something that suits you and you will never be bored of your job. There are numerous opportunities available no matter where you are from or your background.