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Working lives

Your career

John Marsh, 25, is a graduate civil engineer working for consultant Hill Marsh.

Route to the job

After studying for mathematics, physics and chemistry A levels I went to Kingston University where I took a degree in civil engineering. I obtained a 2:1 BEng Hons degree, and in my third year I worked for Rolton Consulting engineers in Northamptonshire.

After completing my degree I stayed in London and worked on various short-term contracts before returning to the North East.

I went for an interview at consultant Hill Cannon where I was impressed by the wide variety of experience the company could offer me.

Hill Cannon is a medium size practice with more than 30 staff. This appealed to me as I felt that I did not run the risk of being pigeon-holed which might have been the case with a large company. I was optimistic that being with Hill Cannon would enable me to become involved with all aspects of a project from conception to completion.

I have been with the firm for three and a half years now and, having started as a raw graduate, I am now acting as principal engineer on some small to medium projects and, more importantly, am broadening my experience all the time.

It was this experience that has enabled me to win the IStrucE Yorkshire branch Young Members' Award which delighted me and I would recommend entering the competition to any young engineer.

Expectations

My main aim is to become a chartered structural engineer and once I have achieved this I will be working towards the role of senior engineer on larger and more challenging projects. I hope to help the practice win more prestigious projects that will enable the team members to increase their knowledge further.

Reality

I very much enjoy working in a busy, buzzing practice, which manages a wide variety of projects, from residential house surveys and alterations to large national and international jobs.

Hill Cannon specialises in multistorey car parks and undertakes a large number of these. The company has a patented system for vehicle circulation and a copyright for the structural layout, enabling very efficient and userfriendly solutions.

Advice

Always try to look at the overall scheme of the project and not to get bogged down with details that are not as critical. It is good to step back sometimes and look at the bigger picture.

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