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"I didn’t expect to make friends as easily straight away or in the volume that I have, which is a key part of any work environment."
Degree: MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University.
Profession: Civil Structural and Architectural
Job Title: Graduate CS&A Design Engineer
The usual route on the graduate scheme for a CS&A designer is to do six month secondments, gaining experience in: Detailed Design, Geotechnics, Structural Analysis, Project Work, Infrastructure and a site placement for Construction. I started on a 12-month placement in ISA (Infrastructure Strategic Alliance), which is a project team that is a collaboration of people from ARUP, Morgan Sindall and Sellafield. I was working on a project that stretches across site; this allowed me to learn about Sellafield as a whole whilst hitting Design and Analysis attributes within the Infrastructure Project work. Now I am looking forward to my placement up in Cumbria next summer.
Alongside my day job I am the Risley social lead for the graduate council. This involves organising events, trips and nights out for all the graduates, industrial/summer placement students and apprentices. The purpose is to help integrate people, across disciplines, ages and locations. The biggest challenge is finding activities that are fun, affordable and accessible for the majority.
Some of the highlights so far have been ‘Axe throwing’ in Manchester, the Otley run pub crawl in Leeds, a summer BBQ, and an escape room in Liverpool.
The graduate community has surpassed my expectations. At the start of the scheme when everyone was trying to work things out we would frequently have meetings to share information and support each other with any issues we might have been facing.
At Risley we still regularly have lunch together, attend socials or football after work. I didn’t expect to make friends as easily straight away or in the volume that I have, which is a key part of any work environment.
And when it comes to work, do your best, listen to advise and learn from mistakes. You don’t have to know everything from day one.
Prior to joining the Sellafield graduate scheme, I had worked in a variety of different roles and companies including some of the most famous fast food chains, plus a couple of stinks at summer camps in America. After 4 years of university I wanted to use my degree to actually do something worthwhile, to make a difference. And the decommissioning of Sellafield is exactly that.
If you could give a future graduate some advice, what would it be?
Don’t stress, approach everything logically and enjoy the scheme. Grasp all the opportunities you can.