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Claire Vallis, Ground Engineering, Glasgow, EWE, Graduate

By AECOM
Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Name: Claire Vallis

Job Title: Graduate Geotechnical Engineer

Location: Glasgow

Team and Business Line: Ground Engineering – Transportation

What is your role at AECOM?

I am a Graduate Geotechnical Engineer in the Glasgow Ground Engineering team.

How long have you worked for AECOM?

I have worked for AECOM coming up for a year in August.

How has AECOM helped you in your career development?

I have recently started the process of gaining chartership and AECOM have been proactive in assigning me a delegate and supervising engineer. I have quarterly meetings with my delegate engineer in which we discuss my progress and any questions I have. He is very supportive and is always happy to help in between meetings too.

How do you use AECOM’s ‘Freedom to Grow’ to give you a good work/life balance?

I make use of the ‘Freedom to Grow’ by aiming to work an extra half hour or hour Monday to Thursday which allows me to take an early finish on Friday. This allows me to fully switch off from work and make the most of the weekend. ‘Freedom to Grow’ particularly benefited me when I first started at AECOM as I was still looking for somewhere to live. This allowed me to attend viewings during the day and work back the time later-on.

How do you find hybrid working works for you – what benefits do you get from office working, site working, and home working?

Hybrid working is beneficial as it allows me the flexibility to work from home. Occasionally, I will need to be in my flat for packages or to let maintenance workers in and hybrid working allows me to do that. I like the combination of site work and office/home working, I enjoy being offered the opportunity to leave the desk and get out on site to carry out a more hands-on role.

What has been your favourite project to work on at AECOM?

My favourite project to work on at AECOM has been Delmore Loop. This project involved the design of a railway embankment to accommodate a new passing loop. I particularly enjoyed this project as it was my first project I worked on full-time. This allowed me to see it progress and gain a greater understanding of the different stages within the project. I am currently on-site and finishing my second week out of a three-month site placement. So far, I am enjoying it thoroughly. I like getting the opportunity to learn more about what I have been reviewing and reporting on in the office.

What’s your proudest moment at AECOM?

When I started at AECOM it was difficult meeting and getting to know other employees from different teams. The Ground Engineering Team itself was very welcoming and everyone was easy to talk to and get to know, however, I found meeting colleagues from different teams difficult. Upon speaking with the other Graduate in my team I found they had the same issue. This led us to taking steps to create an Early Careers Network (ECN) for the Glasgow office. We found a few other graduates from other teams and formed an Early Careers committee. The purpose of this was to create a Network within the Glasgow office that organised events to bring early career employees from different teams together. The aim was to encourage communication and understanding of the roles within different teams. Our first official event is coming up within the month and we have already received a huge interest for attendance. The hope is by encouraging networking among the early careers that overall communication between teams will improve.