Juan Carlos Alonso Gonzalez

Excelerate Graduate Engineer (2017 intake)

"You always have people to ask for help, guidance or advice."

Studied at (university/ college): Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh

Degree: Msc Structural and Foundation Engineering           

What attracted you to Sisk and the Excelerate programme?

For me the most attractive features of Sisk were their Health and Safety Goals working in the construction world, the international opportunities and the search of constant improvement and quality delivery. These principles operating in a company in a 3 years programme rotating through different projects every 8 months is a unique experience.

In no more than 20 words explain what Excelerate is?

A huge amount of invaluable experience, learning and progress in a short period of time.

How did you find the recruitment process?

I think it was fair, because there were enough opportunities to demonstrate what you know. Realistic, because you were tested with situations and circumstances that will happen in your career. Balanced because many of your different skills were measured.

How are you supported through the programme?

You always have people to ask for help, guidance or advice. There are mentors, lectures, training, reporting manager and one of the most important things is that your colleagues will be used to the programme and make you feel welcome and part of the team.

Tell me in your own words what your best experience has been on the Excelerate programme to date?

Well the fact that you leave from one team to another is something difficult although it is also a way of making contact with other professionals that you can always keep in touch with and some of them become close friends.

Please describe in summary what your day / week looks like in your current / most recent placement you’d like to share?

I am currently working in a construction site; the project is a hangar to maintain planes of a big company such as Boeing.

Every morning I give a site walk, check my emails and start to approach the most urgent of my responsibilities at that moment. These responsibilities vary as much as the range of fields that an engineer must know, but mainly are related with: Construction sequence, materials, check and design information, Health and Safety and Environmental supervision and duties.

Your responsibilities and duties will evolve progressively, the more you demonstrate you can do, the more trust you will win for yourself and from your colleagues.

What have you found most challenging?

Facing new situations is always difficult but at the same time is the best way get experience and improve skills. Frankly every day has a new and different challenge. What I think is the most complicated is to adapt yourself to the new scenarios and reach the right standards.

Any tips for future applicants?

Be honest with yourself and your assessors. Do not be lazy, you must prepare yourself as well as you can to the best of your knowledge. Never underestimate your skillset, be proud of it and use it in your favour. Finally, do not forget that you are dealing with human beings, I promise you do not have any reason to be nervous. Make the most of the process, learn from other applicants, assessors and tasks.

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Richard Tomlinson - Excelerate Graduate Engineer (2017 intake)

"You are allocated a buddy on your first project to help you settle in."

Aisling McNamara - Excelerate Graduate Quantity Surveyor (2016 intake)

"I have developed as a professional and upskilled in such a way that I know that would..."

Dylan O’Regan - Excelerate Graduate Engineer (2017 intake)

"The programme allows you to gain a wealth of experience through varied placements."
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