Samantha Stanbridge works for AECOM as an apprentice engineer in its transportation group.
“At AECOM, women are encouraged to seek out opportunities for career growth and achieve success they didn’t even know was available to them," says Samantha. "This message is communicated and reinforced right from AECOM's senior levels, but importantly it's ingrained in our business culture and every day working life.”
Insight into the world of engineering
Having left school at 17 years of age, Samantha Stanbridge firstly joined AECOM as a receptionist. After a year, Samantha moved into AECOM's transportation group as a secretary. Working closely with AECOM's impressive engineers and assisting them writing reports and supporting their client and contractor meetings, Samantha developed an insight into the world of engineering and the various career options available within this engineering sector.
AECOM's apprenticeship scheme
Samantha was then asked by one of AECOM's senior directors if she'd be interested in joining AECOM's apprenticeship scheme. Not having been something Samantha had ever considered, once she learnt about what an AECOM apprenticeship could offer her, along with a well-defined career path and progression, she decided to access AECOM's apprenticeship opportunity and become an apprentice in the company's Traffic and Local Roads team. "Since joining the team as a trainee, I've continually pushed myself to strive further in order to fulfil my role as an Assistant Engineer”, explains Samantha.
The importance of female role models
Samantha is keen to share her passion for engineering and educate women and girls about the career options available within the engineering sector. And AECOM supports Samantha's reinforcement of the company's commitment to diversity.
“As a young female engineer, I'm keen to encourage other women to join the engineering sector and offer their different and highly valuable skills to the industry. My career has developed my confidence and skills, both professionally and personally, and I'd like to pass this experience onto others," remarks Samantha.
"Engineering apprenticeships were simply not offered at the school I attended. I had absolutely no understanding of the industry and nor did my peer group. I’ve spoken to other women in engineering and unless you have a relative or friend of the family working in this sector, it's not always seen as an available career choice. This is one of the reasons that I now represent AECOM at career fairs for graduates and schools, educating and informing teachers and students about the options available in the engineering sector. It’s very important that younger women get to meet engaging role models who champion engineering as an industry and that they can see the fabulous careers available to them", says Samantha, a strong supporter for more women moving into the STEM arena.
Work shadowing at AECOM
Samantha also participates in mCircles, AECOM's female mentoring scheme designed for their female professionals to seek and receive constructive advice for career growth. At AECOM, apprentices are given the opportunity to shadow a Senior Director as part of their National Apprenticeship week activity in March. Samantha was excited to learn that she'd be shadowing Kate Morris a senior Transport Director with 25 years of industry experience, who also co-runs the mCircles programme.
“It was fantastic to shadow a female professional in Transport, and Kate is such an inspiring role model. Watching her chair meetings and lead teams is hugely motivating and insightful," reflects Samantha.
AECOM's collaborative working environment
Samantha is clearly a rising star within AECOM and with encouragement and support from her colleagues, she's undoubtedly on her way to enjoying an impressive career.
"The support and guidance you receive from AECOM is excellent. AECOM recognises your skills and the career path you wish to take and supports you to grow and develop in your area of interest. The company continually encourages you to think “outside the box” and to strengthen your knowledge and make you the best engineer possible. AECOM offers great experiences while working in great roles through site experiences, overseas work and secondments that all enable you to gain an insight into other areas of the business. As an apprentice, AECOM funded and supported me through my BTEC Level 3 Diploma and they're willing to continue to support my educational studies." says Samantha. "The people who work within AECOM make it an excellent place to work, sharing ideas, learning and communicating with others, and developing both personal and professional skills".
So why not take the first step and learn more about AECOM's apprenticeship opportunities, exciting graduate opportunities or their wider career roles and options, and move your career to this thriving, innovative and supportive employer for women.
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