Sam Fletcher

Graduate Civil Engineer

"Graduates on the scheme are offered a wide variety of placements in a number of locations across the country."

Sam first joined Balfour Beatty on a summer placement in 2008.  Since then he has completed three summer placements to support his MEng in Civil Engineering. Sam enjoyed his time with Balfour Beatty so much that he decided to apply for one of our Graduate Technical Schemes within Balfour Beatty Services. As part of the scheme, Sam was given the opportunity to complete a placement in New Zealand as part of the team tasked to deliver a 400kV overhead transmission project.

Tell us a bit about your role, the project you are supporting and the type of work you undertake on a daily basis

Graduates on the scheme are offered a wide variety of placements in a number of locations across the country. My own experiences range from design work in Derby, to commercial projects in Cardiff, to on-site engineering roles in Newcastle.

My daily tasks therefore vary according to placement and location. Initially seconded as a design engineer in a small design team, I dealt with a variety of temporary works, overhead line and foundation design tasks. I then became involved with stringing activities (positioning the wires on the towers) and, once trained, was climbing the towers as part of a small team to ensure the quality and performance of the line. I then worked on foundation installation and tower erection in the role of Site Engineer and Supervisor, taking a key role in the final section of the line. I have also had the opportunity to complete a ten month placement on a 400kV overhead transmission project in New Zealand, which saw the construction of over 430 towers spanning 196km of diverse terrain across the country's North Island.

What attracted you to Balfour Beatty?

Balfour Beatty caught my eye at a university fair, and I applied for sponsorship during my degree. Following three years of successful summer placements working for the company, I was offered a full time graduate role on the scheme. The familiarity of the company as well as its culture and development opportunities encouraged me to stay.

What development opportunities have you been given while in your role?

The company has provided me with role-specific Project Management and Leadership training as part of its graduate development programme. This training contributes towards the APMP qualification for the Association of Project Managers. I am also working towards Chartership with the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers) on a training agreement funded by the company. The graduate team organises and runs bi-monthly ICE meetings to learn from each others' experiences as well as the views and expertise shared by external speakers.

How has Balfour Beatty played a role in your long term career goals?

Starting with Balfour Beatty at such an early stage in my career has given me the chance to “learn the business” and understand the way in which it operates, as well as developing relationships with people across the operating environment and levels of the business. The Graduate Scheme has allowed me to see where I can develop within the business, which gives me a strong grounding to select my future career path.

What has been your highlight so far at Balfour Beatty?

Working on the New Zealand project was an amazing opportunity. I took on the role of Site Supervisor and was responsible for the installation of some innovative and bespoke tower designs. I was the lead on a particular section of the line and had the responsibility of several tasks including working closely with suppliers to ensure timely and quality delivery of resources. My heavy involvement with the delivery of this project has been my proudest moment at Balfour Beatty.

What has surprised you most about working for Balfour Beatty?

All my colleagues have been willing to help me regardless of my skill level or expertise. There is a good atmosphere working for Balfour Beatty, and I have made lasting friendships and working relationships with people all over the world.

What top three tips would you give anyone thinking of applying to Balfour Beatty?

  1. Be open to new things - Power and energy aren’t often seen in the glamorous side of the construction industry, but try and think what you would do without electricity for one day, let alone one week... Now couple that thought with the sense of achievement at the end of each day, seeing your hard work come to fruition and knowing you are keeping thousands of people warm, keeping their lights on... It is one of the greatest feelings you can enjoy.
  2. Be flexible - For some people mobility can be a hindrance, but for others it is an opportunity. To make the best of your experience at Balfour Beatty you will need to be willing to move across the country, or even the world!
  3. Get involved - Balfour Beatty provides some excellent and varied opportunities – get stuck in and you will be rewarded.
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