"There are plenty of opportunities to build relationships within the graduate network."
I joined Kier in September 2018 on the Graduate Development Programme after graduating from the University of the West of the Scotland with and upper second-class degree in Civil Engineering.
I relocated from my hometown in Dumbarton which is on the out-skirts of Glasgow to Birmingham to join the Kier Highways Area 9 contract as a Graduate Civil Engineer. I was initially posted in the Area 9 Highways Team where I spent a year designing highways schemes including road resurfacing and vehicle barrier design as well as looking at the feasibility of junction improvements.
September 2019 has seen me rotate into the Area 9 Structures team where I am still currently based. An average day can include anything from structural design to technical report writing and anything in-between such as: meetings with clients and subcontractors, preliminary design, option studies and organising surveys/inspections.
I am now in a role which I believe suits my skill set and interests which allows me to enjoy each day of work. I have always been structures dominant throughout my education and now I am in a position where I feel comfortable and able to produce my best work.
Moving away from family and friends was difficult to begin with, however there are plenty of opportunities to build relationships within the graduate network. These networking opportunities were reassuring as I realised there were other people on the same boat as myself who had relocated for work. I am still in contact with a lot of the graduates that I have met at these events. Kier also employ a flexible working policy which has allowed me to work around the obstacle of working away from home. I am able to build up hours during the week and leave early on a Friday to travel home to see family and friends which has been a key factor in helping me settle into my role.
If you have a fair idea of what path you want to take in your career then let this be known, it will only benefit you to get experience in the area of your choice from the start of your Graduate Programme however, do be flexible and willing to rotate teams to further you experience and development.
Secondly, I would encourage all applicants not to be put off by the possibility of relocation. Not only have I developed as an engineer, I have also grown up and matured as a person which has been beneficial for me as I start to move into adult life. As mentioned previously, Kier will accommodate the obstacle of working away from home and ensure you have a good work/life balance.