"There has always been support available and it’s a very welcoming environment."
I studied Psychology at City University of London. I graduated in the summer of 2017 and started on the HR Graduate scheme in the September 2017 intake. I completed a 3 year graduate programme and have now started my role as an Assistant HRBP. My day varies greatly, some days you will be sitting in the office supporting with employee lifecycle queries and then other days you will be on site for employee relation matters. The key to success in the role is to constantly build relationships with different colleagues and to be able to support then and give them advice when needed.
The graduate programme was absolutely fantastic. You gain both operational and specialist experience as we had to rotate on our graduate scheme, I would like to say the networking that you do helps you in every role that you go into. I was able to use my skills and knowledge working in Build with a fantastic HR team and then able to transfer that when I moved into the Shared Service Centre, working as a HR Adviser. The knowledge and expertise that you gain in the Shared Service centre was second to none, it was a great place to work with a lovely team who were always willing to help and support. Whilst being in the Both my placements, you meet so many different people ranging from different levels of seniority. The colleagues that we meet and the friends that we meet along the way are people who you can always turn to for advice and support. One particular moment that stands out for me was organising the HR Conference with other graduates in my Cohort. We were able to put together an event for all HR colleagues. To be able to meet all the colleagues from all over the country in one room was phenomenal.
The transition period between university and Kier was initially a challenging experience. This is because my naivety gave me the mindset that though I would be joining an office full time, I would be eased into my role and given leniency to focus on my professional qualifications. This was not the case. From the very first day I started in Build, I was given tasks to complete and duties to fulfil. Whilst the correct training was provided, and assistance was always available it was a case of hitting the ground running. The assistance Kier provided was not only giving us accessibility to the other cohorts of graduates, but training was always being provided by the teams I have gone into. There has always been support available and it’s a very welcoming environment. You can ask anybody anything, and if they don’t have the answer, they will always point you in the right direction.
The advice I would give is first and foremost, try and learn about the company. On the face of it, Kier are just a construction company. However, from my time here, I have learnt that we do so much more beyond that. There are so many different roles available.
What I would say to prospective graduates, though you are expected to hit the ground running, never be afraid to ask questions or delve a little bit deeper because as cliché as it sounds, your voice is there to be heard and you can make all the difference. Kier is a fantastic place to work and the people within the company make it great.