Meg Hatfield, Max Daley and Oli Hay

Apprentice Project Managers

"Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular choice for students as they look to enter the world of work and carve out a career for themselves while continuing their learning journey."

First Impressions of Tetra Tech from three people just starting out in their PM careers

Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular choice for students as they look to enter the world of work and carve out a career for themselves while continuing their learning journey.

In 2021 we welcomed a number of young people to our business in apprenticeship roles including three Apprentice Project Managers who are involved in a variety of projects – from our own internal projects to defence schemes in the UK and Government funded projects further afield.

Here, they share why they chose to do an apprenticeship, their first impressions of Tetra Tech and importantly, their hopes for the future.

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Meg: As I am doing a degree apprenticeship the most important thing for me was having the opportunity to apply what I am learning at university directly to my day-to-day work at Tetra Tech, rather than following a traditional route and having to wait until graduating before experiencing a working environment.

Max: I wanted to have experiences that will help me develop my understanding of the project management profession. An apprenticeship will help me connect my learning and work to benefit my career prospects long term.

Oli: I applied for the apprenticeship part way through my university course. I was already studying Project Management but realised that university wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be. I wanted hands on learning and a practical side to back up the theory I had learnt.

What are your initial impressions of the business – is it similar or different to your expectations?

Oli: I was given smaller tasks to work on at first but as I am growing in confidence and learning more, the tasks are getting more challenging and exciting. Everyone in the business is so friendly and helpful. Even though they are busy with their own projects and tasks they still find time to have regular one-on-one sessions with me to see how I am doing and help me with anything I need.

Max: My first impressions far exceed any expectations I had. I am gaining exposure to some of the big projects the business is currently working on and the plan my line manager has for me going forward includes involvement in some great, exciting schemes.

Meg: As soon as I joined Tetra Tech, I could tell it was an excellent place to work. The Leeds office is a great facility, there’s lots of flexibility to work from home and there’s a lot of focus on the wellbeing of staff. I personally believe this is the key to productivity, and helps explain why everyone I’ve met so far has been so friendly.

Is there anything that surprises you or particularly impresses you about Tetra Tech?

Max: I have been surprised at the diversity of projects the business works on from local council projects through to overseas redevelopment projects. I have been really impressed with the support for my career and development, both from my manager and from people within senior leadership positions in the business. I believe providing apprentices with the opportunity to work and share ideas with people at all levels of the organisation makes Tetra Tech fairly unique.

Meg: The provision of equipment to allow me to work easily whether I am in the office, at home, or on the train makes a huge difference as it allows me to make the most of my time.

Oli: I have been impressed with how flexible the business is with remote working. I feel like this is the perfect blend, a mix of working from home and from the office makes me feel so much more productive.

How have you been inducted into the business and what support are you being given?

Meg: The apprentice induction day was great and provided me with the opportunity to meet apprentices from other parts of the business. I have also done a Project Simulation Day which really helped me to understand how projects are managed from start to finish and have enrolled onto the APM Project Fundamental Qualification so lots of opportunities to grow and develop.

Max: Straight away I was given the opportunity to provide support on different projects. This has been a really good way of meeting new people and developing my understanding of how things work.

There is also a clear strategy for career development, including tools and resources for me expand my professional knowledge. The apprentice events have also provided a great opportunity to meet colleagues and share our knowledge and experience in team building exercises.

Oli: In the first month alone, I have attended three development events. I particularly enjoyed the project simulation as it taught me so much and helped me realise how detrimental risks can be to a project. This sort of thing can be spoken about in an educational setting but is hard to understand until it is experienced. The support of colleagues is amazing too. Everyone is ready to give up their time help educate and answer my questions. This is exactly the sort of people I want to work with.

Do you have any long terms career aspirations you can share with us?

Meg: I hope to develop my project management skills throughout my time as an apprentice to eventually manage projects of my own. Then, when I complete my degree I will have 5 years of experience already under my belt which will put me in a strong position to progress my career.

Max: I hope to develop my career within Tetra Tech right through to Chartership as I have seen that some of my colleagues are currently being supported to achieve APM chartership. I also aspire to have enough professional understanding to take ownership of future projects and then portfolios of projects!

Oli: My main career aspiration is to make a real difference in the sustainability space of project management. I see this as the future, becoming more environmentally friendly, creating smarter, more efficient buildings. I eventually want to become an innovator in this space for project management.

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