• 2 February 2017

“Every day at Waterman is different, there is always something new to do and learn.”

I am fairly new to Waterman having joined in July 2015 as a Receptionist. The more insight I gained into the company and the world of engineering, the more convinced I became about my career. I have recently become an Apprentice Engineer within the Building Services team at our Leeds office whilst continuing my studies at Leeds College of Building.

I left high school not knowing what I wanted to become or study. Engineering was a new concept when I started working, it was never mentioned whilst I was at school, and I did not realise you could have a career in Building Services or what role it plays within Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. It was only when I started working as a Receptionist that I discovered all the exciting projects we were working on, and that there was more to construction than bricklaying!

In order to understand more about the company, I began asking around the office about what each discipline does within the industry. Building Services stood out to me as there are so many different elements involved in making a construction work. I like a challenge and have never looked back since I decided to learn more.

Every day at Waterman is different, there is always something new to do and learn, but I think the most enjoyable moments are in learning new skills and seeing how everything comes together from calculations to consulting, and to finally see the real result built. This means that every day has a new activity or challenge to enjoy.

Being new to my apprenticeship, I am most excited about going on site and seeing how the design is being put into place and the scale of the build rather than just imagining it from a drawing. I am also looking forward to undertaking surveys, observing what a building is like before we start to design, and of course seeing the final outcome after the build is complete.

I feel that engineering is not as widely known about as it could be. There is a considerable shortage of engineers and more should be done to encourage young people to enter the industry.

The Building Services team has been extremely helpful in getting me settled into my new role after the changeover of jobs. Coming into engineering with no real knowledge can be hard, however with the team I have around me I don’t have to worry about asking what may seem a stupid question (which is quite frequent) because they all pitch in to help me in different ways.

The benefits of an apprenticeship are that I am learning a lot whilst still getting my head down with my studies. At first it is hard to find a balance, but it is all about developing a routine of when to do the assignments from college, when to go out with friends, and how much time is needed to finish a project at work.

Jessica Humphries

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