Tammie Ash

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

I work for Mott MacDonald which is an engineering consultancy and we specialise in a range of areas across engineering - buildings, power, oil & gas and transport are just some of the sectors. 

What is your role within the company?

I'm part of the Bridges sub-division (this comes under the Transportation sector and the Metros & Civils division), in the Croydon office which is our headquarters. 

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

A typical day doesn't really exist at Motts; it depends on what project you're working on at the time. Some may require you to complete hand calculations and structural checks or you might be using special analysis software. Bridges is one of the more technical departments focusing more on the core aspects of structural engineering, however, we also have great experience in the project management side too so I've been able to gain experience in both. 

What are you enjoying the most and are you involved in any interesting projects? 

I've had the opportunity to use a range of engineering and design software (AutoCAD, MicroStation, STAADPro, ArchieM, Autodesk Structural Bridge Design) as well as using different standards (Eurocodes, Highways Standards) to complete hand calculations.

I've enjoyed working with an amazing team of people and I've had the chance to work on big projects such as High Speed Two/HS2 and international projects including bridges in Georgia and Swaziland.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

Having experience early on boosts your employability prospects and gives you the chance to work for the company again in the future. Working at Motts has given me an insight into the range of roles that engineering offers and has helped me to decide which path I want to take when I graduate. The knowledge I have gained this year will also be beneficial during my final 2 years of university.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience? 

I'm hoping to learn as much as I can this year, so that I'll be more prepared for the last 2 years of my degree, particularly my dissertation. Hopefully I will be more informed and knowledgeable about engineering and what it's like to work at a consultancy - this will help me to decide what kind of role I'd like to take when I graduate.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

A year out seemed daunting to me because it sounds long, but you will get better work, more opportunities and a wider range of contacts than a short placement. Apply as early as you can and apply for as many placements as possible - consult the employability/careers centre! Once you get your foot in the door and have some experience, it only gets better.