Seekay, an engineering apprentice with a dream

Published: 12 April 2023
Filed under: Jobs, training and skills

I applied to a civil engineering apprenticeship at John Wood Group (now WSP) with the help of Waltham Forest’s Steps into Work team, who recommended me to them, passed on my CV and gave constant guidance and support throughout. Paul, my contact at the council, called me to give me the good news that I’d passed the initial interview, and I landed the job shortly after.

I’m currently studying MSc Civil Engineering part-time at London South Bank University, alongside working on-site with the NEC supervision team for North London Heat and Power Project. Since I started, I’ve been developing my knowledge through construction site experience, as well as working in a variety of roles from civil to architectural and MEP engineering, getting the right skills to become an ICE Chartered Engineer in a few years’ time.

Going from having no experience in the Civil Engineering industry to working on a full-time site supervision role on the Major Project division, I feel very fortunate for Paul’s assistance throughout this journey. It gave me a platform to transform my aspirations into reality.

Seekay on-site

From a very young age, I realised my interest lay deep in mathematics and physics. I always enjoyed detailed-oriented construction activities such as LEGO, assembling IKEA furniture, hand crafting modular origami and recently, the entire renovation of my house. All of these experiences sparked a huge sense of accomplishment; seeing what was once a design concept become reality makes it really worthwhile.

I enjoy interpreting, analysing data and problem solving, so working in the engineering industry is allowing me to do what I enjoy: being creative and finding solutions. This has been a great first step to pursue my desired career as I found it beneficial to be working, studying, and training on the job. I am grateful to be on the NLHPP and being able to develop key learning skills, not just through studying, but also through practical experiences. 

There will always be an essential demand for new development and robust infrastructure in the modern world. The impact of population growth and climate change put an immense pressure to society, and civil engineers help play a major role in projects, not just focusing on improving the surroundings around us, but forming sustainable solutions, enhancing lives for a better place to live in. Because of this, I chose this industry as I wanted to learn and help others to make a real difference for this generation, and the future. 

Seekay used the Waltham Forest Steps Into Work programme to find her apprenticeship and get expert guidance on applying for it. Steps Into Work connects Waltham Forest jobseekers with employers across the borough every day, securing roles at a variety of experience levels. It also gives CV, application and interview support.