"My job truly improves the quality of life of many people and knowing that is very fulfilling."
I was born and grew up in Luton, where I still live. I was the first in my family to go to university. My parents always wanted me to study at the University of Cambridge and so getting in was really a dream come true! I believe that hard work can get you a lot of places so never let anybody tell you you can’t do something, because you can if you believe!
I have wanted to become a civil engineer since the age of 8, when I was inspired by the Ancient Egyptian irrigation systems that I learned about as part of a project at school. Since then I have gained more interest in the field of civil engineering in the water and sanitation sector through research and other projects I have worked on as part of my work with an international NGO in Tanzania.
I had never heard about Arcadis before I was offered an internship during a previous internship working with another company which had sub-contracted Arcadis to carry out civil design. I then completed two consecutive summer internships with Arcadis while I was still at university. During these two internships, I had the opportunity to work on some of the largest projects going on right now (Crossrail and Thames Tideway). I also learned a lot more about the culture and opportunities within the company (look up the Lovinklaan Foundation for some inspiration!) and knew that if I was going to work for a large engineering design consultancy, it would have to be Arcadis!
I have learned so much since starting my job last year, from technical knowledge to more “soft skills”. I would have to say that the most important thing I’ve learned is that opportunity is everywhere if you only open your eyes. Be outgoing and talk to everyone - you never know what they can bring to your life.
I joined Arcadis in October 2019 after graduation as a graduate civil engineer in the Water team in our London office.
I work a lot on detailed design so often it’s a fairly desk-based job. There is a lot of collaboration involved and I work very closely with colleagues at our Global Excellence Centre in Bangalore to produce deliverables, such as drawings and 3D models. I also have the opportunity to visit sites where we are working and, before the lockdown, carried out a number of inspections along our canals.
Water is a basic service and human right. My job truly improves the quality of life of many people and knowing that is very fulfilling.
My experience of Arcadis has been positive overall. My managers and team are very supportive and understanding, especially in times of need. My line manager in particular has taught me a lot and has given me a lot of opportunities to do a wide range of work. Although I have had bad experiences with certain people, my line manager was very helpful in resolving these and letting me express all my feelings about what happened.
To me, “diversity” is often used in a corporate as a cop-out for actually doing anything tangible about the problems that marginalised people in the workplace face. Diversity without inclusion is pointless. From many people that I’ve spoken to who have been at Arcadis for a lot longer than me, although it has its problems like any company, Arcadis is willing to actively face up to its faults and listen to the voices of those who are affected. Arcadis has many workstreams (such as race, gender, religion, etc.) which aim to tackle these difficult conversations, often with the senior leadership team present.
Just go for it! Take a look at the job specification to see what the requirements are for the role and make sure you’re applying for something you can see yourself doing for 37.5 hours every week! If you’re unsure about anything, get in touch with the recruitment team as they are very helpful and keen to help brilliant people pursue a career at Arcadis.