Friday, 26 September 2014

CASE STUDY - what SATRO's Scholar Scheme has done for me

What is your name?
Martin Blagoev

Could you confirm your job title and what your role entails?
I am a second year student and undertook a summer Placement last year and am just about to embark on a year’s placement with Tony Gee and Partners LLP.

Who do you work for and where are they based?
Tony Gee and Partners LLP are based in Esher.

What does the company do and how long have you worked for them?
Tony Gee are Civil, Structural and Geotechnical Engineers and I am just starting my year’s placement with them.

Prior to joining this company, could you provide a brief overview as to what you were doing before?
I am a student so have completed my A Levels and am currently studying at Bath University

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
Because the company is really large, there are around 20 students in Head Office at the same time so we are treated the same as the other members of staff. I have really been allowed to get involved in projects and because there are a lot of students, it has been less intimidating moving into the Company. I have been trusted to just get on with the tasks allocated to be and have been able to try things out for myself to see what works and what doesn’t. I felt as though I learnt more in my two month placement at Tony Gee and Partners LLP than I had in the first year of Uni.

What aspects have you found the most challenging and how did you overcome them?
The most challenging aspect of the placement was overcoming the worry that I had done something wrong! I have learnt to trust myself and to have the confidence to make a decision and go with it. When I first started I was spending time excessively checking things and was hesitant to put my views forwards but now I have senior engineers asking for my advice which has helped build my confidence.

In addition to relevant qualifications, what other skills or experience do you need to do your role?
Practical experience. The summer internship was really useful in this area so any opportunity to gain experience on how sites work, what actually goes on rather than just the theory will be beneficial.

How did SATRO assist you in becoming interested in this career?
I sent my details to SATRO when I applied for my Uni course and they helped me get on the Surrey Scholar scheme. This helped with sponsorship and provided me with the Summer Internship which has lead to my placement. This gave me a real advantage as some of my fellow students are still trying to find placements.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about this as a career?
Go for it!

A Level’s give you the theory but on a day to day basis, there is not much theory. Develop your own ideas and solutions for problems and just remember that there is no right or wrong.

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