From University Student to working as a Civil Engineer at Balfour Beatty

Regarded as one of the world’s leading, internal infrastructure companies, Balfour Beatty have created and maintained vital structures such as bridges, roads, railways, seaports and airports which benefit and support many communities and daily life. Operating in the UK, Hong Kong and the USA, Balfour Beatty employs 26,000 people worldwide and offers young people the chance to apply for many jobs and apprenticeships in engineering, construction management, quantity surveying, IT, business admin and much more! Working amongst this huge team is Graduate Civil Engineer, Amy Fraser who explains what drew her to the profession:

What inspired you to study a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subject at University?

‘My name is Amy Fraser and I’m 25 years old. I finished studying my Masters Degree at the University of the West of Scotland in 2017 in Civil Engineering. The high school I attended was the Nicolson Institute on the Isle of Lewis.’

‘At high school I studied Graphic Communications. I really enjoyed the technical drawing and computer aided design software. It was the only subject I was particularly good at in school and that inspired me to go on and study engineering. My Graph Com teacher was really encouraging about going on to study engineering at college.’

What did you enjoy most about studying a STEM subject?

‘I found studying a STEM subject really rewarding. It was challenging because maths wasn’t my strongest subject so I had to improve in that field, but it was good to see how this was applied in civil engineering in so many different ways. I also enjoyed learning about the construction industry and the variety of jobs available to an engineer be it practical or theoretical.’

STEM subjects can lead to many exciting and varied careers! what are you doing now after studying either Science, Engineering, Technology or Maths?

‘I started working for a national leading infrastructure group called Balfour Beatty in 2017 on their graduate scheme. I work in the Power Transmission & Distribution sector which has allowed me to work in 4 different departments during my graduate scheme rotations; design & engineering, operations, commercial & estimating. This has allowed me to see different parts of the business and choose which department suits me best. I have chosen to go into operations where I will be working on site in Inverness as a Project Engineer supervising Overhead Line works.’

According to statistics, only a small percentage of women/ young girls choose to study/ work in a STEM related subject. What advice would you give to encourage more to do this?

‘Working in a STEM related subject is so rewarding. I would recommend it to any female who was considering a career in these fields. They might be challenging subjects but provide a great foundation for future careers and open a world of opportunities to you. I have had nothing but support during my time studying engineering in University and throughout my career with Balfour Beatty from lecturers, fellow students and colleagues. The industry has become more diverse but more females are needed in the industry to balance genders and break the stigma that it holds currently.

Only 1% of females currently work on site and I will be part of that small percentage so I am hoping that in the future this number will go up significantly.’

 

Many thanks to Amy for sharing her STEM career path journey. If you would like to work for Balfour Beatty, visit their website at https://www.balfourbeattycareers.com or for more information about STEM careers, please get in touch with your local DYW West Highland team on: info@dywwesthighland.org / 01397 705 765 / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram