Meet Aurora, Degree Apprentice in Building Surveying. She likes to describe the role as being a "building doctor", tending to all aspects and defects of a structure, aiming to technically rectify any issues.
Aurora also project-manages construction projects, completes surveys and assesses conditions, working directly alongside clients to help them find positive solutions for their concerns. She's been with Faithful+Gould, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, for one and a half years. Here's what she has to say about her experience with us.
It's National Apprentice Week, what's exciting about being an apprentice at our organization?
Faithful+Gould has made me realize that my opportunities in the industry are endless. They do not end when I gain my chartership. Here, there are always possibilities to work in other areas, expand my knowledge, continue learning and work with a diverse set of colleagues.
Who has supported you the most at Faithful+Gould?
Jeremy, Regional Director and Head of the Exeter office, took me on as CAD support and assistant project manager for the University of Exeter's COVID-19 planning. He was really supportive; familiarizing me with the client's requests, and giving me independence regarding which direction to take the project.
He praised me to the client, which resulted in extremely positive feedback and a fresh, healthy client relationship. He's made a positive difference by allowing me to be more confident in my abilities and boosting my knowledge, not only in CAD processes but also client communication.
Can you tell us about two very different projects you've worked on?
The University of Exeter COVID-19 Planning was my first lone-working task and client-facing role. I created COVID-secure routes in and out of buildings and a sports complex, including teaching spaces, therapy session rooms, hallways and various sports pitches. This required a lot of CAD knowledge and client meetings to adapt my designs to the client's requests. The experience helped me develop my skills using AutoCAD and directly liaising with clients.
Undertaking glazing surveys for Derby City Council was my first technical role. I visited schools and corporate buildings, assessing the safety of the glazing, its condition and whether it had been filmed. I also had to compile glazing reports of my findings for the client with my referenced drawings and a third party's film-test results. I built my knowledge of glazing terminology, report writing and my survey expertise.
Tell us about the variety of experiences you've had and how you've been supported to develop in ways that interest you.
I've chosen to work on a variety of projects, from supporting senior members of staff on large project management tasks, to solely managing my own smaller projects. This has given me opportunities to adapt my skill sets and apply my knowledge in different areas, ensuring my career isn't just growing in one proficiency. My interests have peaked at working on such diverse yet complex work in the fast-growing construction industry.
What makes you proud to work for Atkins?
I am proud that I'm part of such a large network of talented, experienced and supportive colleagues with knowledge in every area you could ask for. Faithful+Gould is a very supportive company not only, in professional work but also, education. I've had many opportunities to continually boost my capabilities whilst still being able to enjoy my job. Being a global company, there are endless prospects for my future. I'm excited to explore these as I continue my journey with the organization.
As one of our apprentices are you treated like a university student or an employee?
I feel trusted. I'm supervised to ensure I'm doing my work efficiently, appropriately and in the correct timeframe. Yet, I never feel constantly exhaustively overseen by senior management. I have been given opportunities to work directly with clients, which has made me feel like a valuable part of the business and an integral, reliable asset to my team.
How would you like to #BuildTheFuture?
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion is important to me. My passion is raising awareness in the industry for workers from diverse backgrounds, genders, and who have different abilities and neuro diversities. I'd like to help the next generation, no matter who they are, to realize their boundless potential in working for a company as inclusive as SNC-Lavalin.
Did you know the age gap between our youngest and oldest apprentice is 28 years? We won't let anything hold you back, find out more about an apprenticeship with us.