Reflections on Curtins’ Summer Insight Programme

Curtins’ Civil Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure Insight Programme has drawn to a close, with 27 budding civil engineers successfully completing the programme on 3rd September. Designed to encourage new talent into civil and infrastructure specialisms, the 5-week scheme covered all aspects of project delivery, including technical and non-technical modules, with external speakers and experts from across our business.

Software providers, Graitec have been sponsoring the programme by providing access to their online training suite to enhance the development of the participant’s skills. They also awarded one excelling student, Khalil Rahmeh, an iPad based on a reflective assessment to compose a blog. Seren Peregrine and Erris Lindsay were also awarded Amazon vouchers in acknowledgment of the quality of their blogs.

Khalil commented, “After completing the Civil Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure Insight Programme at Curtins, I had the chance to participate in a blog competition highlighting my wonderful time on the Insight Programme. I am pleased to announce that I was the winner, out of a cohort of 27 talented and ambitious colleagues, and I was awarded a prize provided by Graetic Ltd!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rebecca King and Tom Leake for leading the Insight Programme, as well as all the guest speakers and colleagues who shared their invaluable knowledge, advice and words of encouragement.

I really enjoyed participating in the talks and team exercises on the programme, as well as completing technical courses, such as Autodesk Civil 3D, through the Curtins Curious Hub. I have gained relevant knowledge, experience and employability skills from professionals across the construction industry that will compliment my studies as well as my future career as a Civil Engineer.”

Khalil’s winning blog follows:

I was interested in applying for the Civil Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure Insight Programme at Curtins because of Curtins’ stated mission of providing a rewarding work environment that promotes innovation to develop as an engineer, while maintaining quality and integrity, which was recognised by the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work for Awards’. It’s safe to say that my time with Curtins went above and beyond my expectations, and during the 5 week Insight Programme I have gained invaluable experience, knowledge and employability skills that will benefit me as an individual and as a Civil Engineer.

In my first week I had the opportunity to meet all my colleagues during an entertaining welcome session, and I learnt about the story of Bill Curtin, the pioneering founder, and his vision and principles of sharing knowledge that led to the founding of Curtins Academy as well as the Insight Programme. The video about Bill Curtin (which I highly recommend everyone to watch!) was a great insight into the Curtins business model and how its employees and future talent are embedded in its DNA.

Over the next 4 weeks talented speakers across the industry shared their knowledge and expertise with us on various topics related to the construction industry. Hanna Vickers, Chief of Staff at MACE explored the importance of infrastructure, Stuart Fraser, of Make Architects, gave us an insight into Masterplanning, and Stephen Beggs, Director at Curtins, highlighted the impact of sustainability in construction as well as our responsibility in engineering design.

As part of the development that Curtins offers its employees, I had access to online courses through the Curious Curtins Hub, supplied by Graitec. From AutoDesk Civil 3D to Time Management and Killer Communication Skills, I was able to develop personal skills as well as technical proficiency that will progress my engineering career and help me come closer to achieving one of my goals of becoming a Chartered Engineer. The emphasis by Curtins on Continuous Personal Development gave me a positive feel of its work culture, and I knew that if I had the opportunity to work with Curtins as a Graduate Engineer, I would be looked after and supported to reach my full potential.

The Insight Programme was a ‘virtual’ placement programme instead of a traditional placement, but it had many benefits that made my experience on this programme a memorable one. In-person interactions were hindered because of the pandemic, but the Insight Programme was delivered in an interactive and personal way that made me forget I was on a Zoom call and not in the office. I had the benefit of completing all the recommended readings and online courses during my own hours, and I would like to see more virtual work programmes adopted by the industry.

Overall I feel that the Curtins Insight Programme gave me invaluable knowledge and experience from across the industry, while having fun and building meaningful relationships with graduates, managers and Curtins’ senior leadership team, and hopefully future colleagues.

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Thank you to Graitec for supporting the Insight Programme. The programme continues Curtins’ commitment to inspire more young people to pursue careers in engineering specialisms, which we hope will create a balanced and diverse future workforce where individuals can achieve their full potential.