Jackson Lee - Roads Engineering (Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship) at AECOM

Hi, I’m Jackson and I work within the Roads Engineering team at AECOM in our Altrincham office. Alongside my work I’m studying a level 6 degree apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University.What team do you work for and what does your role entail?

I joined AECOM in November 2016 as part of the Roads Team, who deal with all things roads, from alignment design, to pavement design and drainage design the list goes on. Over the past year or two I have been slowly adopted by the Road Lighting team. Being a smaller team, my role has become much more substantial with the 3 of us all pulling equal weight regardless of grade. My role is mainly to handle the BIM (Building Information Modelling) side of the Road Lighting work.

What is your favourite project you have worked on and why?

Currently, my favourite project to have worked on is the Smart Motorways Program M6 Design and Build Contact (M6 D&B). The M6 D&B involves lighting a 17km section of the M6 between junctions 21a and 26 upgrading to an 'all-lane running' smart motorway. A key aspect of the scheme is the production of a fully constructible BIM model incorporating all elements of the design. As BIM is my main role within the team, I was/am heavily involved in this project and as Information Manager I have a high level of responsibility. Being a D&B project, it is fast paced with deadlines every two weeks which can be challenging but the experience and knowledge I am gaining whilst working on this project is invaluable.

How has your technical knowledge developed?

I have developed my technical knowledge in a number of areas such as 2D/3D Modelling, turning designs into drawings or 3D models for issue to clients; Model Federation, the assembly of different disciplinemodelsto create a single completemodelof thebuilding; Clash Detection, assessing the Federated Model for clashes between different disciplines; and Discipline Coordination, communicating changes and updates to any relevant disciplines.

How has the AECOM Apprentice programme developed your career so far?

I have developed in many ways since starting at AECOM; educationally, professionally and personally. I have completed my Level 3 Apprenticeship, which involves a BTEC Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment and a NVQ Level 3 Engineering for Technicians. Completing this in under 2 years allowed me to progress onto the first wave of Degree Apprenticeships at Liverpool John Moores University. I have just finished my second year and am on track to achieve a 1st, with three years left. Both the BTEC and Degree apprenticeship run on a day release program which means 1-day a week I attend university, with full support from my manager and the office. I have also attended the first week of a three-training course provided by the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP), completing the three weeks will allow me to gain another qualification in Exterior Lighting.

What advice would you give students considering applying to AECOM?

My advice would be try and stand out from the crowd. Don’t assume good grades will get you a job. Good grades get you in the door for an interview but after that it’s about you, your personality and how you are perceived in an interview. You are there to show yourself off so bring everything you have that proves you are worth giving an opportunity to.

What is the social side of working for AECOM like?

The social side of AECOM is one of the main reasons why I am still here today, the team around me is the best I have ever worked with. It is full of intelligent, hard-working, determined and witty individuals who all come together to finish a project. There is also a big social side out-side of working hours which the Sports and Social Committee organise. There are a broad range of activities to suit the whole office, some recent activities include pizza day, Flight Club darts night, Chill Factore Ski social, Teamsport Go Karting, and Drinks On Us which happens the first Friday of every month. Overall the social side of AECOM is great, as long as you are willing to get involved.


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