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Meet Harriet Jennings, graduate building surveyor at Arcadis

Meet Harriet Jennings, graduate building surveyor at Arcadis

 August 21, 2018

 Graduate opportunities at Arcadis are exceptional. Graduates are encouraged to thrive and be the very best versions of themselves, while contributing to live projects and making a genuine impact to the world around them.

We caught up with Harriet Jennings, a graduate building surveyor based in Manchester. Since starting her exciting graduate role with Arcadis, Harriet is loving every minute. Here's what she had to say ...

What are you working on currently and why is it so exciting?

Recently I have been working on a £100 million + highways project which makes a change from surveys. It's great to work with a team of people who are so knowledgeable and I'm gaining experience in project management. My university course didn’t fully prepare me for the world of work and putting my academic experience into practice was tougher than I thought. We got little practical experience at university.

Since starting the Emerging Talent Programme graduate scheme at Arcadis. we have had several training days covering topics like Commercial & Financial Awareness and Client & People Management. This training has helped me to understand the wider business principals which I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

What's a big challenge for you right now, or perhaps one for your industry?

The industry currently has a skills shortage which makes it even more important to take on graduates and apprentices. I think people need to be more aware that there are some amazing jobs and opportunities out there for women as well as men.

What makes it exciting working in your industry?

Every day is different, I get to work in the office or be out on site. I get to visit loads of new places and meet loads of different people from all walks of life, whilst doing a job which I enjoy and learn something new every day.

How would you explain your job to people not from your industry? And how does it fit within Arcadis' bigger picture?

To put it simply a building surveyor is someone who accesses the structure and fabric of a building, and reports on the defects, repair and maintenance options - but it also includes health and safety, management and design.

Might there be some less exciting areas or some tough challenges?

The toughest challenge for me at the moment is working towards becoming chartered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Do you think your career pathway has followed a logical sequence so far?

When I did my A levels I decided I wanted to be a surveyor so I did a degree in building surveying, I worked alongside my degree with small property and building surveying companies and then I joined the Arcadis Graduate scheme.

What's the best piece of career advice you've been given?

Get as much experience as you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

What's something quite impressive about Arcadis in terms of its people, culture and work?

Not many people outside of the industry have heard of Arcadis but we are involved in amazing projects that everyone will know about. Arcadis is a multi-national company and it’s brilliant how we collaborate with teams from all over the world on a day to day basis.

As a woman in what ways do you feel supported, and how might Arcadis women in general feeling valued and encouraged overall?

I was nervous about feeling like a minority as I came from a university course with only three other women on it, but there was no need to worry. When it comes to Arcadis' diversity, there are lots of women who work for Arcadis. We do a number of things specifically for our female employees. For example, we offer a women in engineering course, which is such a valuable course as it teaches you better communication when dealing with male employees as well as not being afraid and presentation skills. Arcadis also offers flexible working and there are many female leaders in the business who have returned to work part-time after having children.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!"

Join talented women like Harriet at Arcadis 

Enjoy a thriving and supported career as a graduate or professional woman at Arcadis. Search and apply for next career move.


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