I currently work for Laing O'Rourke which is a well established contractor within the construction industry. Laing O'Rourke has constructed hospitals, sewers, airports, schools, office buildings just to name a few all over the UK.
One of Laing O'Rourke's specialties is being very competent at modern methods of construction, such as offsite manufacturing of precast concrete. This is manufactured at Laing O'Rourke's Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction is 'Europe's most advanced concrete products manufacturing facility'. By investing in offsite manufacturing this is changing the construction industry by being able to deliver projects more quickly and efficiently. Whilst also being more sustainable by producing less waste compared to if products were constructed in situ. Other areas where Laing O'Rourke is looking to improve in the future is by reducing the impact on the environment by placing net zero goals and having a more gender balanced staff team.
Laing O'Rourke runs well established apprenticeship and graduate schemes which are excellent at kickstarting your career in construction. They do this by teaming up with good university providers (for apprenticeships) and running bespoke modules to help you further understand the business.
I currently work at Thames Tideway on the Blackfriars site. I remember being very nervous on my first day on site. It was daunting to be on one of Laing O'Rourke's biggest projects and being one of the larger sites on Thames Tideway. Moreover, it has been one of the best first sites that I could have gone to as I have been exposed to a lot of different elements of construction such as reinforced concrete, offsite manufacturing and marine elements of construction to just name a few.
I got into engineering by first helping my dad with DIY jobs at home and a love for Design & Technology at school. This taught me that I really enjoyed problem solving in a more practical manner. However I got into construction by going on a fundraising school trip in sixth form to Swaziland. I helped to build a Neighbourhood Care Point where kids who were mostly orphaned, due to their parents having HIV/AIDS, could go in the day. From this I liked how I could do a job that could have a massive impact on people's lives.
Working in construction has taught me how fundamental it is to work as a team. There is no chance that you will be able to complete a job well without having a good team behind you. It has definitely taught me resilience in that no matter how bad of a problem there will be a solution to it but you may have to think outside the box. By being thrown in the deep end of working on site at eighteen my experience on site has helped me to develop as a person by becoming more independent than I was previously.
I would tell my younger self to always take feedback constructively and not to take it personally. It is good to get outside your comfort and learn new things whilst not worrying too much about doing so. Always try and work to the best of your ability as a team to help out.
My mentor taught me a lot about listening to feedback is the best way to improve yourself particularly starting so young in the industry. She taught me to always question the process about why individual steps were done to complete a task and how each decision slots together. She also taught me to learn about how the other teams on the project operate as well as to understand the engineering aspects.
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