Having the right work experience can make a big difference when applying for a job in construction. It helps you get a feel for jobs you're interested in, looks great on your CV and gives you a chance to make connections within the industry.
We realise the importance of work experience for construction students and those considering a career in the industry, which is why Collins has been working with Anglo Educational Services, who offer a comprehensive range of educational support services for study abroad programmes.
For the past couple of months, we have taken Beka and Austin under our wing from Texas A&M University to give them the invaluable experience they need to help them further their studies and impress future employers. Beka and Austin are both currently studying Construction Science in Texas and have spent the past 8 weeks living and working with us in London.
What project/s are you working on whilst with us?
Beka: I am currently working on a Cat A office refurbishment in Euston. The project is a complete refurbishment to the basement through to sixth floor – with a new seventh floor being added.
I am shadowing the project manager, Dick Humphreys, learning a lot about site management. I have mostly been working on site set up and the health and safety requirements that come with it.
Austin: I have been placed on a project for The Office Group, based in King’s Cross. The project consists of a structural refurbishment to the existing building, including 3 separate extensions with complete renewal of the existing plant. Once the refurbishment is complete we are to also undertake a Cat B fit out.
I am currently shadowing the project managers, assisting with tasks around site.
What have you enjoyed most about your time with Collins?
Beka: I have enjoyed getting hands on experience and being in a working environment that is relaxed and friendly whilst still productive.
Austin: The atmosphere of the company. Everyone is very friendly and always on hand to help if I have any questions.
What have you found most challenging?
Beka: I have found the differences in British and American construction to be the most challenging thing to overcome. Many times I will be following along in a conversation or meeting, but the words used will trip me up because they are different to what we would call something in the States. Luckily, no one minds re-explaining things to me afterwards!
Austin: Getting acclimated to the culture of a building site – it’s very different to being sat in a classroom all day! It is definitely a huge step and something I’m glad I can get experience in before applying for my first, full-time position.
Would you recommend this experience to other students?
Beka: I would and have! Many of my peers back home are looking into doing this study abroad program and I have repeatedly told them that this is the company to work for.
Austin: Definitely, it is something I would recommend to all students within the construction industry… and any other industry!
Sum up your experience in one sentence!
Beka: Working with Collins has been a great opportunity to learn more about construction and the day-to-day activities on a job site while providing valuable experience that I can carry with me throughout my career.
Austin: My internship has been an enjoyable and insightful experience full of practical information that is going to better my career in the construction industry.