"The culture at WSP is friendly, supportive, diverse, and inclusive. As a gay man, diversity and inclusion are very important to me to feel that I can bring my true self to work."
Hi, I’m Valentin, I joined the Southampton Liveable Places team in 2021 after Graduating from McGill University with a BEng in Civil Engineering. I enjoy problem solving and I love learning how to use software’s – I am amazed at what they can do. I had the chance to work on a panel of different projects, hence the work I do is rarely repetitive, and it also helps me narrow down my interests. I also like that some tasks are purely logical while others require some creativity.
The best part of the Graduate Programme for me is the chance for professional and personal progression. The senior colleagues I work with always try and show me the bigger picture of the project and give me insights on different topics – they do not just restrict me to doing the task they are asking for. I also have regular meeting with my line manager who is very supportive and always takes time to explain the different opportunities available to me.
The culture at WSP is friendly, supportive, diverse, and inclusive. As a gay man, diversity and inclusion are very important to me to feel that I can bring my true self to work. Support is very important to me because it is my first professional experience, and work can sometimes get overwhelming (and for everyone else as well). Finally, friendliness is important as I think having good relationships with your colleagues results in people being more committed to their work, and more productive.
The flexibility with working hours and hybrid working allows me to better organise my work as well as my personal life. I believe it makes me more efficient overall.
The application process was quite simple; after applying I was asked to take a game-based assessment, then after passing the test I was invited to a virtual one-to-one interview. The interviewer was very friendly and wanted to make sure that the role they offer me fitted my interests, and that the base office location suited me. The interview was very casual - it did not make me feel like I had to prove myself. I believe because WSP uses the tests to pre-select the candidates, the interview is not so much about testing your skills, but rather about whether the role suits your interests.
Liveable Places is a new business unit for 2022, and I believe it is quite interesting as it has a focus on the social dimension (improving public realm) in addition to the engineering side. An exciting project I have worked on is transforming Cities Fund in Dorset: a network of 78km of new cycling and walking routes, bus improvements across the region, connection of major housing, employment, education and retail centres and safe, green, and healthy travel options to get around, rather than relying on a car, particularly for shorter journeys. The programme aims to transform local travel, help to reduce road congestion and pollution, improve air quality, and bring economic and health benefits.