Graduate Career Hunters

If you are a Graduate Structural Engineer or Civil Engineer then we know you are currently going through the recruitment process. Most employers will know the qualities they’re looking for in an employee, but do you know what you should look for in an employer? 

An interview is an opportunity for your potential employer to get to know you, but also a chance for you to ask questions and decide if the career path on offer is right for you. 

Our youngest engineers, Harry Furnival-Doran, Joe Cox, and Kamil Bednarek have put together a guide. 

Hands-on direct project experience – how much involvement will you have? This is so incredibly important for professional development. Our experience is that with larger organisations you could potentially be a cog in the machine, you tend to get far more direct project experience at the smaller-medium sized practices. Here at SD you are given a great deal of responsibility for projects and work closely with senior engineers, associates and directors to successfully manage budgets, programmes and quality. 

Chartership – will your employer support you to gain chartership? Our Directors are chartered with the IStructE and ICE and so you’re offered training, mentoring and support whichever route you take. The range of projects we work on, and regular site visits, add significantly to your portfolio and means it’s possible to get chartered quickly. 

Salary expectations – do you know what to aim for? An SD graduate will earn between £27,000-33,000 PA. That’s taking into account that some graduates start fresh out of university, and others will have one or two years under their belt. As well as an annual salary review, SD offers a very generous profit share bonus scheme of up to 15% annually. 

Culture – does it strike the right balance? Check to see if their values align with yours – perhaps you have a real interest in sustainable design, or diversity and inclusion, are all employees valued and listened to? You could check to see if the practice you are applying to are signatories of UK Structural Engineers Declare, like SD. We’ve also signed up to the Diverse Leaders Pledge as equality, diversity and inclusion are important to us.

Socials – is anything on offer? Work hard, play hard – that’s how we operate here at SD. We’re a tight-knit team of 20 who enjoy spending time together – in and out of the office. We have regular socials including the Annual Summer Fun Day and Christmas Outing. 

Extra things to bear in mind: flexibility, quality of projects, pension schemes and other benefits such as bike or computer salary sacrifice schemes.