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WSPs Nicola Graham works on projects that make a difference

WSP's Nicola Graham works on projects that make a difference

 March 09, 2023

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Each year, WSP recruits up to 300 graduates for its UK business. Recruiting talented graduates not only supports WSP's business success, but ensures that the company is contributing to the development of professionals in its industry for future generations.

As part of WSP's Green Jobs Green Future campaign, recent graduate and WSP Assistant Engineer, Nicola Graham, shares what is important to her when considering a future employer.

Three important factors when considering an employer

A Graduate Water Engineer based in London, UK, Nicola's work with WSP helps alleviate the UK’s increasing flood risk.

When it comes to choosing an employer, there are three important factors for Nicola.

"Being able to work on projects where I can make a difference. So help communities, in my role, alleviate flooding," offers Nicola.

"Having flexibility, so being able to work from the office, or from home, or from my family home if that's what I want to do," she suggests.

"Also being part of a global business where I can get involved in oversees opportunities," adds Nicola.

A passion for contributing to important projects

Nicola's journey to her role with WSP began with her enjoyment of mathematics at school, that then led her to applying for a placement opportunity where she would test the water at a top engineering consultancy.

While on the year-long engineering placement, Nicola learned that she enjoyed the diversity of work in engineering as well as the positive impacts that contributing to projects that could improve the lives of thousands of people could have, such as the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

“Taking a year out before University was one of the best decisions I have made. It allowed me to gain an insight into my potential future career and develop skills and confidence which would prove to be invaluable when I began my degree,” comments Nicola.

Solving practical real-world problems in her work

After her placement and discovering her passion for civil engineering, Nicola went on to study a university degree in Engineering Design, where she was able to apply her love of maths from an early age to solve practical real-world problems.

During university, Nicola undertook engineering placements working in sectors such as geotechnics. After participating in several teams in order to discover her favourite, Nicola came to the conclusion that water engineering was what she wished to pursue, due to its relationship with the natural environment and its potential impact on society in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Joining WSP as a Graduate Engineer

Nicola accepted a scholarship from the WSP Water Team, leading her to join the team full-time basis as a Graduate Engineer. Nicola has worked on projects with WSP that involve large-scale flood alleviation, sustainable drainage system design, and river and scour engineering.

During Nicola's final year of university, she was awarded the Engineering Leaders’ Scholarship by the Royal Academy of Engineering, recognising her passion for water engineering. This enabled Nicola to fund her continuing professional development activities, attend leadership workshops and visit river restoration projects around Europe.

Named Graduate of the Year

Nicola's in-depth industry knowledge and engineering knowledge was recognised when she was named Graduate of the Year at the New Civil Engineer (NCE) Graduate and Apprentice 2022 Awards.

A total of 121 entries were submitted, demonstrating the high value young engineers place on the event. Candidates had to produce a written submission, seeming them provide information about their education, careers, and answering a question on the benefits of modern methods of construction. Shortlisted candidates then had to deliver a presentation to the panel of judges on the benefits of the methods and ways to increase their adoption.

"Very proud to see Nicola Graham, one of our fantastic graduate engineers, receive Graduate of the Year at the New Civil Engineer Graduate & Apprentice 2022 Awards," commented WSP.

Life as a WSP Changemaker

WSP has a wide variety of exciting graduate opportunities, where graduates can imagine tomorrow and create for the future. The company has graduate opportunities in areas from Water, Energy and Industry to Transport and Infrastructure, from Property and Buildings to Planning and Advisory.

WSP is a global family of more than 54,000 changemakers, 7,000 in the UK, all with the imagination to see things not as they are, but as they could be. The WSP Changemakers are at the heart of the company's transformative thinking and are setting a new agenda for a smarter, greener future that includes every one.

WSP is harnessing ideas and sharing insights across its diverse, international team to create a world that's cleaner, greener and safer. Its employees are changemakers in the fight against climate change as they influence policy, engage communities and think 'net zero first', shaping the communities of tomorrow and helping society thrive.

Inspired to join talented graduates in successful careers at WSP?

Join WSP in doing purposeful, sustainable work that helps shape communities and the future.

Discover the latest career opportunities available with WSP.


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