Georgina Cox - MEP Assistant Apprentice, UK

Georgina Cox started her career at Mace as an apprentice. Two years later she’s halfway through her course and working as aMechanical, Engineering and Public Health(MEP) assistant and, in 2017, won the ‘highly commended’ title at the Mace Apprentice Awards.

What led you to Mace?

I went to university with the intention of doing a four year course. I did a year and then realised I was only interested in two out of the five modules – engineering and design – so I decided to go down a different path. I was specifically interested in mechanical and electrical engineering so I did some research and found Mace. I went through the online application process and many interviews later I got the job as a Mechanical, Engineering and Public Health (MEP) Apprentice. It was definitely the right decision.

What is it like to be an apprentice at Mace?

It’s all about gaining knowledge and building up a foundation. We break down MEP and learn about each area, understanding site life and things like manufacturing. So far we’ve travelled around the UK and we’ve been to Italy. We’re taught how to understand behind the scenes operations and drawings. I’ve also learnt a lot from people in our supply chain and everyone on site. We’re given a mentor too. Everyone is so helpful.

How has your career progressed since joining Mace?

I’ve come a long way since I started. Being on site now seems like second nature. I’ve made good relationships with my team which is great as you spend more time with people at work than you do at home.

The days go so quick. It’s a fun and educational environment to be in but at the beginning it was quite overwhelming. Before I joined Mace I’d never been on a construction site but now I’ve got 100% confidence. It’s definitely been a learning curve.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?

What I really enjoy is how different it is. When I speak to my friends they think it’s brilliant. It’s something I would have never considered until I did the research. It didn’t occur to me that I could apply the things I liked at university to a construction site. I also enjoy how I’m helping to break the norms – people understand the industry needs to change in the gender balance and seeing more women around site normalises it. I’m proud that Mace champions women in the construction industry as it should be normal.

What has been your greatest achievement at Mace?

In 2017 I won the highly commended category at Mace’s Apprentice Awards which was amazing. It assured me that all my hard work and effort had been noticed and that it pays off. Mace’s Chairman gave me the award. I couldn’t be happier that someone at his level, with his experience, was recognising my contribution. Getting something like this so early in my career has really spurred me on. I feel really positive about my career at Mace.

What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?

It’s been a focal point for a while but I believe there is still a lot more to explore with prefabrication. I actually think sequencing is the biggest part of it because otherwise it defeats the whole process of getting things in quicker and easier. Projects are still being delayed for variousreasons and there is always going to be room for improvement.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I live in the gym. I’d say I’m addicted to exercise and food but the two go hand in hand. I have an Instagram account dedicated to just food. Being on site is hard work but I find going to the gym everyday gives me even more energy.

If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?

I probably would have stayed at university and gone down the design route. I have friends who stayed at university and they have no idea what they are doing next year so I do find myself in a privileged position, not having to worry about my next steps.

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