Work experience week

We were recently pleased to welcome a year 12 student from a local school for a week of work experience. Here is what he had to say.

I was keen to join the team at HWA for my week of work experience. As a 16 year old I didn’t know what to expect, however before I even started I was given useful guidance on dress code, a brief itinerary and a named support contact. I made my way to the office, where I was greeted and given a tour of the building and met several members of the company. One of the senior members of staff I met, Dave Taylder, was tasked with assigning me work/activities to make the most of my experience over the week, and I quickly got started on the computer. Dave taught me how to use the engineering software needed, and with his help at first and then independently, I worked out the loads that would be in place for the walls/floor of a new care home. Late on, Dan Bailey allowed me to sit in a meeting with him so I could learn more about big projects that HWA work on in collaboration with other companies, which was very informative. I finished up for the day and could tell that the team had worked with students before due to how friendly and welcoming they were.

On my second day, Dave continued to help me develop my understanding of the role of a Structural Engineer, assisting me in using the loads I had worked out the day before to find the certain widths needed of the project foundations. I also was shown how to use software in order to work out measurements for the steel beams spanning some of the building.

Day 3 started with me writing up my work up so far, so I could present to my school some of the work I had completed. I then was lucky enough to travel with Managing Director, Giles Ward, to a grade 2* listed site, which was probably my favourite moment of the week because of how beautiful this hidden gem is (a Georgian walled garden in the centre of the city). We assessed the area considering possible solutions to the problems faced there such as designing a new path needing to be put in place that functions with the criteria. Subsequently, we were given a tour of the precious library inside which held important historical books and furniture.

On the Thursday, I accompanied Dave to the care home site I had been working on previously. I found this particularly interesting as I was able to see how the work I had already done transfers into practice, making sure to take photos as evidence of what I had worked on. From this experience I learnt how important it is to get everything right and on time!

My final day was spent sorting out my work and photographs, ready for presentation. I also finished the school log book and thanks go to Michaela for letting me interview her to understand a little more about the range of projects the team work on. I also had the opportunity to sit in on another meeting, this time about some church renovations.

Throughout my time at HWA I felt valued and supported by all members of the company. I felt they were patient and helped me to gain an understanding of structural engineering as well as knowledge on the range of approaches required in the workplace. Thank you so much for allowing me to spend time learning about the different aspects of how your company runs.

Many Thanks Ollie