Abdo-Malek Abdorab

Abdo-Malek studies (BEng) Civil Engineering and spent a year working at ATKINS, a world, leading design, engineering, and project-management consultancy, for his placement year.

Why did you choose to do a placement year?

I chose a placement year to gain some real-life experience and learn more about what it takes to be an engineer.

What kind of work have you been doing on your placement?

Many of the projects I have been involved in are rail and bridge related. I have worked on-site completing water pipe bridge survey inspections in Wales. Some of the clients and companies I have worked for and with include: HS2, Arup, WSP and Severn Trent Water.

Alongside actual projects, I have been involved in some general work too. Working with the leadership team on resource management as well as putting together project presentations. 

What have you learnt so far?

I have learnt a huge amount regarding the additional elements of work undertaken by engineers. This includes technical writing, reporting, producing presentations and more. I have also developed a better understanding of how to use Eurocodes and National Annex.

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How do you think this placement will benefit you in future?

It has been a great experience learning on the job. It has also helped with understanding the interview process and what employers are looking for. But importantly, it puts me ahead of my peers that do not have any experience. Companies have a higher intake of students who have experience through placement years than those without.

What advice would you give to future students thinking of doing a placement year?

Placement years are great experience to put on your CV. Placement years are offered by the largest UK companies as well as small to medium size companies too, so don’t limit yourself.