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How degree apprentice, Oakley, is empowered to transform his world.

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I’m Oakley, apprentice civil engineer at Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, in the UK. Growing up in London, with amazing architecture surrounding me, I’ve always had an interest in design.

However, it was only when I started to look at which companies had built structures such as the Shard, and London Bridge Station, that I came across civil engineering.

Image of Oakley Smiling

What subjects did you like at school?

I had a real interest in subjects that included creativity and teamwork, like art, physics, geography and computer science.

What made you decide to pursue your career engineering?

I’ve always had an interest in giving back to the communities I live in, and designing a sustainable infrastructure for the future. Engineering gives me the power to do this and make a difference. I’m interested in issues like improving transport for people around the country, and increasing London’s sewer capacity.

What was it about Atkins that made you apply?

The company’s reputation for doing things properly and doing things right. And, as a global organization, Atkins is involved in many projects around the world. As I progress through the business I’m excited about the opportunities I’ll have to work on different projects around the world and United Kingdom.

Who inspires you at Atkins?

The friendly culture and the great learning environment is massively inspiring for me. I admire my senior colleagues who take the time to help me see the bigger picture, and team members who support me as I develop my technical skills.

What's your view on the culture at Atkins?

The culture really surprised me. I imagined that being office based meant everyone would do their work and just go home. But at Atkins there’s always something social happening, which has allowed me to network and get to know with my peers.

What is it about your job that inspires you?

The ability to work on massive projects such as the Heathrow expansion and the opportunity to progress within the company to reach personal goals in the industry.

Where do you see your career going?

As part of my degree apprenticeship, I am looking to start my studies and work towards becoming at Incorporated Engineer (IENG). After that I’m going to try to gain as much experience as possible and gain my engineering chartership.

What do you think is the single best thing about working at Atkins?

Working with people from different backgrounds and knowledge, and being able to learn from experts who’ve been in the industry a long time, but also learning from young people who have new methods and skills which will help me develop into a rounded civil engineer.

What is the most exciting thing about engineering right now?

The plans we have for a sustainable future and how technology and design will play a massive part when it comes to transforming our way of living.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in engineering?

To research what the job consists of and understand the different streams there are. For example, civil engineering covers many sectors such as structural, transportation, infrastructure and many more.

How about earning a salary as a junior engineer, while working towards your degree? Find out how to apply for an Atkins Apprenticeship,  here.

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