Further benefits of the placement year: 8 out of 12 months in...

This time I would like to update you on my work placement experience which I'm eight months into and has in fact been great. Since the beginning of my placement I have been on many site visits which have significantly enhanced my understanding of construction. Also, travelling to get to these construction sites has given me the chance to get to know Plymouth city even better than before. I've been able to go to sites outside of Plymouth too, which have been really exciting experiences as I've had opportunities to discover and visit different places that I have not visited before.

In the office I am given a fair amount of responsibility which excels my learning and development of new skills. I get to deal with projects from the very beginning to the very end, where I actually have to interact with clients, solve design problems, design structural elements and produce construction drawings. This can become quite challenging, but believe me, it feels very rewarding after issuing construction drawings, a document or report and knowing that people are going to be using “stuff” that I have designed to build “real buildings”. 

I am exposed to so much information including the latest engineering design software that professional engineers use to solve real life problems. Whenever I get a free minute I always try to get my hands on these software packages and get some practice in. I believe I am learning so much with Jubb because I can turn to anyone in the office for help or to answer any questions I may have. It almost feels like having a dozen personal lecturers all to myself!

As part of my continuous professional development I’ve attended various seminars in the Jubb office and conferences where the latest civil and structural inventions or products are being presented. These keep me motivated and remind me of why I really want to be a structural engineer. Also, as the conferences are held outside of the office, it is a good opportunity to hear from a wide range of people in the industry and make new contacts.  

And finally I would like to tell you how undertaking my placement year has changed my future studies. All of these new experiences of learning from professionals already in the industry, using new software and attending professional seminars and conferences, have given me new ideas for project topics in my final two years of studying. Making loads of contacts in the industry has also been very useful for me to approach for information whilst doing my dissertation project and for potential graduate jobs when I'm done with the studies.