Sarah Curran - Water Engineering (Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship) at AECOM

Hi, I’m Sarah and I work within the Water (Civils) Engineering team at AECOM in our Croydon office. Alongside my work I’m studying a level 6 degree apprenticeship in Civil & Infrastructure Engineering at Kingston University.What team do you work for and what does your role entail?

On a day-to-day basis, I take part in a variety of tasks ranging from creating and updating CAD drawings to project co-ordination. Every day is different and requires a range of skills. I have created electrical circuit diagrams from scratch using the latest engineering software. I have acted as a co-ordinator and reviewer between site engineers, CAD technicians and project management to ensure that civil drawings represent what has been built on site. I extracted and compiled vital information that ensured full compliance of design specifications on site.

What advice would you give students considering applying to AECOM?

Applying to AECOM was the best decision that I have ever made. If you are interested in engineering and are thinking of applying to university then I would suggest you apply to AECOM first. The application process is straightforward and the interview is informal. AECOM are interested in the individual and establishing your potential. After a number of years, you will have a qualification, coupled with lots of industry experience working for one of the world’s most reputable companies. You will get the chance to work on large scale national projects and the satisfaction that goes with being part of a team that is building the future. All of this will be without a penny of student debt to your name.

What key support have you had on the programme?

Whenever new opportunities arise, management actively encourage you to take on the new challenges, even if you have no experience and offer support to ensure that you develop professionally.

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

I am part way through the first year of my BEng (Hons) in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. By choosing this pathway, I have developed lots of vital knowledge for working in the engineering industry, including engineering mechanics, structures and materials, sustainable construction and design and engineering mathematics and computing. Along with my university studies, I am gaining hands on experience in a variety of roles on projects such as Deephams Sewage Treatment Works, Thames Tideway Tunnel and North Bristol Relief Sewer.

How is your professional qualification progressing?

I have become a student member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and am documenting the different work experience which I have obtained so far, linking this to the nine key attributes which they look for in all candidates wishing to apply for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) level. Once I have completed my degree my goal is to obtain IEng certification.

What is the social side of working for AECOM like?

When I started at AECOM, I was of a quiet nature. I wouldn’t actively go out of my way to talk to people that I didn’t know. The hot-desking policy in my office encourages employees to sit in different seats and to network with others in the business. The friendly nature in the office and relaxed environment have allowed me to change to such an extent that I am now confident talking to anyone on any topic. There are events which encourage employees to get together outside of working hours such as the end of month drinks. I am really excited about an outbound team building trip which has been organised around my first anniversary with the company. I will get to meet other apprentices from across the UK who also work for AECOM and learn about their experiences.