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THE SCOTT SUTHERLAND FURTHER SCHOOL INFORMATION INDUSTRIAL PLACEMENT STUDENT PROFILES 2003 If you have any queries, would like to find out more about Industrial Placements or if you have identified an employment opportunity please contact: Placement Experiences 2003 Mr G Castle The Industrial Placement Tutor The Scott Sutherland School The Robert Gordon University Garthdee Road ABERDEEN AB10 7QB Telephone 01224-263719 or 263715 Fax. 01224 - 263777 E-Mail g.castle@rgu.ac.uk How did you acquire your placement? What experience did you gain? CONSTRUCTION I began to look for a placement with a The apartments were at the beginning of the MANAGEMENT company very early (around handover process which meant I only October) because I knew that there would received experience in minor construction be a lot competition for any opportunities works but I received valuable experience in that arose. I wanted to work in France but man management, organisation and time because my French Language skills were management, dealing with sub-contractors, rusty I looked for a French Company that making decisions and stress management. was active in the UK. What problems did you encounter and I sent my CV with a cover letter to those how did you resolve them? companies asking if they had vacancies for My biggest problem was my inexperience of placement employment in the UK. Bouygues in France, who in a recent ...

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FURTHER
INFORMATION
If you have any queries, would like to find
out more about Industrial Placements or if
you
have
identified
an
employment
opportunity please contact:
Mr G Castle
The Industrial Placement Tutor
The Scott Sutherland School
The Robert Gordon University
Garthdee Road
ABERDEEN
AB10 7QB
Telephone 01224-263719 or
263715
Fax. 01224 - 263777
E-Mail g.castle@rgu.ac.uk
THE SCOTT SUTHERLAND
SCHOOL
INDUSTRIAL PLACEMENT
STUDENT PROFILES 2003
PlacementExperiences2003
CONSTRUCTION
MANAGEMENT
Which course are you enrolled upon?
Construction Management.
Why did you choose to undertake a
period of industrial placement?
My main reason for undertaking a period of
industrial placement was because I believe
that
practical
experience
within
the
construction industry is just as important as
learning theory. It was also a chance to work
in a big company and find out for myself if it
was really what I wanted to do.
How did the placement satisfy these
objectives?
The placement gave me more experience
than I thought it would have done. It was
challenging
as I was
given a lot of
responsibility and in exchange I felt I was
not thought of as just a student but part of
the team.
How did you acquire your placement?
I began to look for a placement with a
company
very
early
(around
October) because I knew that there would
be a lot competition for any opportunities
that arose. I wanted to work in France but
because my French Language skills were
rusty I looked for a French Company that
was active in the UK.
I sent my CV with a cover letter to those
companies asking if they had vacancies for
placement
employment
in
the
UK.
Bouygues in France, who in a recent report
were said to be the 3
rd
biggest international
company in the world, passed my CV
to their subsidiary Bouygues UK in London
and I was given an interview and then
offered a job.
Where did you work?
I was taken on by Bouygues UK in London,
and was a site engineer working upon a
multi-million pound luxury flat development
in Fulham.
What did you do at work?
I worked in a 5-storey luxury apartment
block and was given full responsibility of the
production of the whole of the 4
th
floor,
which included the production of 10 luxury
flats and the Common Area.
I was also
involved in the finishing of the stairwells and
organised the instalment of all the fire
signage of the building. I had control over
my own team of workers who I had to direct
to carry out these works. I also had to deal
with all the sub-contractors who did works
on the 4
th
floor.
What experience did you gain?
The apartments were at the beginning of the
handover process which meant I only
received experience in minor construction
works but I received valuable experience in
man management, organisation and time
management, dealing with sub-contractors,
making decisions and stress management.
What problems did you encounter and
how did you resolve them?
My biggest problem was my inexperience of
running a team.
At the beginning the
workers in my team would take advantage of
that, which I believe helped me to learn how
to deal with running a team a lot faster.
Stress was a problem I learned to deal with.
The site was a year over run due to design
faults which meant everything was moving
faster than it would normally.
The more
experience I got, the less stressed I became.
How did your placement help you with
your studies?
I believe the placement has helped me with
my studies by teaching me important skills
like organisation and stress management. I
am a lot more focused on my course as I
k
n
o
w
t
h
i
s
i
s
w
h
a
t
I
w
a
n
t
t
o
d
o
w
h
e
n
I
graduate.
How do you think your placement will
help you find employment when you
graduate?
I received very good feedback from my
manager
and
was
recommended
for
employment. If I decided not to go back to
London I think the experience I have gained
within this placement would help me to find
a good job within the construction industry
generally.
What was the best thing about your
placement?
The best thing I have gained from this
placement apart from being recommended
for employment with the company is that I
was able to do the job.
Any regrets about having undertaken a
placement?
I have no regrets with having undertaken an
industrial placement as I have benefited
greatly from it and believe that it is
important to get some practical experience
as well as the theory and also determine if
this is what you really want to do.
ARCHITECTURAL
TECHNOLOGY
Which course are you enrolled upon?
Architectural Technology.
Why did you choose to undertake a
period of industrial placement?
I chose to undertake a period of work
experience to develop my skills in the above
discipline and gain a first hand insight to the
workings of the industry.
How did the placement satisfy these
objectives?
My placement fully exceeded all expectations
of this module and greatly enhanced my
knowledge
and
understanding
of
this
discipline.
How did you acquire your placement?
I acquired my placement through sending
off my C.V. under the instructions from a
member of family.
Where did you work?
Spowers Architects, Darwin NT Australia.
What did you do at work?
I was employed by Spowers to carry out the
design and documentation of construction
projects and also give support with the
subsequent project administration.
What experience did you gain?
At Spowers I gained a huge amount of
experience. This ranged from a greater
awareness of the processes involved in the
construction industry to developing my team
working abilities and interaction with other
members of the project team.
What problems did you encounter and
how did you resolve them?
The only real problems were getting the
relevant visa and travel arrangements.
How did your placement help you with
your studies?
Most importantly it increased my motivation
to further my studies in the field of
architectural technology. I also learnt new
skills relating to my future studies.
How do you think your placement will
help you find employment when you
graduate?
Architecture is a discipline that requires
scope
and
the
ability
to
adapt
in
any environment. Hopefully employers will
recognise this as a quality I have gained from
spending six months overseas.
What was the best thing about your
placement?
Without doubt the beaches. Joking. Being
able to travel to the other side of the world
and experience a completely different culture
and become a productive member of a
friendly, hard working team involved with
large construction projects was probably the
best thing about the placement.
Any regrets about having undertaken a
placement?
None whatsoever.
CONSTRUCTION
MANAGEMENT
Which course are you enrolled upon?
Construction Management BSc (Hons).
Why did you choose to undertake a
period of industrial placement?
I craved for a more
stable structure
compared to my usual university week. I felt
that I had to find another challenge rather
than the week in - week out routine of
working through pages of information in
order to make coursework and examination
deadlines.
I am a practically minded person and hoped
that by going on placement I could satisfy
my desire to actually see tasks being
undertaken, rather than reading about these
procedures.
There was also the lure of a little cash in my
pocket, rather than the usual struggle that
student life brings with it.
How did your placement satisfy these
objectives?
Comprehensively.
The
working
week
brought with it a very early start and a tea
time finish, which, in the beginning was a bit
of a shock to the system. Start/Finish times
was fairly relaxed as you are put into a very
mature environment and treated and trusted
completely as an equal, among some very
powerful figures, which drives you to give
maximum effort so as not to let anyone
down.
Through doing this, showing enthusiasm
and that I could be trusted, increased
responsibility is slowly mounted upon you
leading to the opportunity of seeing first
hand some of the things that I had spent the
last three years reading about.
The company also have a pay structure for
placement students which, as far I know,
was more generous than most.
How did you find your placement?
There was no advertisement for my position.
I knew a RGU former student who had
recently been moved into Head Office for
some experience who suggested to the
Commercial Manager I would be interested
in placement. I talked with him on the
telephone a few times and managed to get an
interview. From there it’s about selling
yourself, and he agreed to create a position
for me after the interview.
Where did you work?
Balfour Beatty Construction Head Office in
Edinburgh.
What did you do at work?
A variety of tasks from chasing up Sub-
Contractors, Market testing, site visits, Sub-
Comparisons,
controlling
work
package
prices, meeting with contractors, etc.
Although along with these, I also had to
accept the usual brain numbing tasks of
photocopying, keeping drawing registers and
project addendums.
What experience did you gain?
Broadly, the most useful experience I gained
was from witnessing how tight the margins
are that main contractors work to, and also
the methods and organisation that must be
used to keep ahead of the rivals in this
market.
Working in an organisation like this provides
the chance to see how the hierarchy within
the company works and interacts which is
very interesting.
I basically could link the experience I gained
to most of the topics that were studied at
RGU and then some.
I have found that you don't actually realise
how much you are learning on placement
until you take a step back from work and
have to talk about it.
What problems did you encounter and
how did you resolve them?
I
really
didn't
experience
any
major
problems.
The biggest I can think of was the times
where I felt I was ready to tackle some more
demanding responsibilities which was usually
resolved by approaching my Line Manager.
How did your placement help you with
your studies?
It has provided me with endless information
and contacts for my dissertation along with
teaching the benefits of keeping regular
schedule and putting in more than what is
just required.
How do you think your placement will
help you find employment when you
graduate?
The company are sponsoring me through
this year and will make an offer to me in
April 2004 pending my success this year.
What was the best thing about your
placement?
The sense of achievement and satisfaction
you get from putting in a lot of effort in
achieving set goals.
Having some cash was also very nice.
Any regrets about having undertaken
placement?
None whatsoever.
QUANTITY
SURVEYING
Which course are you enrolled upon?
Quantity Surveying.
Why did you choose to undertake a
period of industrial placement?
To gain experience in my chosen field of
study and to have a change from normal
university
life,
lectures,
tutorial
etc.
How did your placement satisfy these
objectives?
Very well, I gained valuable experience and
enjoyed myself.
How did you acquire your placement?
My uncle holds a position with Davis
Langdon and Seah in Singapore and offered
me
a
place
in
the
office.
Where did you work?
Singapore.
What did you do at work?
A wide variety of QS tasks. Bill
measurement and production, cost planning,
variation valuation, interim payments and
quality assurance.
What experience did you gain?
Experience in a variety of day to day QS
tasks.
What problems did you encounter and
how did you resolve them?
No real problems came up. I could always
find another member of my build team to
seek
assistance
or
ask
questions.
How did your placement help you with
your studies?
It gave me a chance to put theory into
practice which was a very useful thing.
How do you think your placement will
help you find employment when you
graduate?
I hope that a placement with DLS will help
me secure a graduate position in Glasgow or
Edinburgh with DLE. Although I would like
to work in Singapore when I have more
experience.
What was the best thing about your
placement?
Meeting people from all over the world,
both through business and leisure, that I
would not otherwise have met.
Any regrets about having undertaken
placement?
None really, except I would like to have
stayed longer!!
QUANTITY
SURVEYING
Which course are you enrolled upon?
Quantity Surveying
Why did you choose to undertake a
period of industrial placement?
Before I started studying at RGU I worked
with a firm of quantity surveyors in Perth
and I really enjoyed that experience. I also
thought it would be good to gain more
practical experience, and make some new
contacts in industry.
How did your placement satisfy these
objectives?
My placement satisfied these fully and more
and I also made some good friends in the
process.
How did you acquire your placement?
Through an e-mail circulated by my tutor.
Where did you work?
Thomas and Adamson in Edinburgh.
What did you do at work?
During my time there I was involved in both
pre and post contract work and experienced
many different professional techniques and
processes. I had learned many of these at
university .I was involved with projects
ranging in value from £100,000 to over £100
million
adopting
a
wide
range
of
procurement
methods.
My
time
in
Edinburgh gave me the opportunity to
become involved in projects teams, lone
working and being invited to group meetings
and team briefings. All of this broadened my
knowledge and gave me the feeling of being
involved as well as contributing to the
success of the many projects that I was
involved with.
What experience did you gain?
I gained all sorts of experience due to all the
different
situations
I
was
exposed
to
everything from the pressure to meet
deadlines to the procedures to be adopted at
site meetings.
What problems did you encounter and
how did you resolve them?
There were a couple of new software
programmes that the company used that I
was not familiar with. This was overcome by
sitting
down
with
one
of
the
senior
surveyors who showed me how to use these
programmes.
How did your placement help you with
your studies?
Since I have started back I feel I am
approaching my studies in a more organised
manner. The experience I have gained by
going on placement is helping me resolve
problems in a more practical manner.
How do you think your placement will
help you find employment when you
graduate?
Hopefully I will be taken on at the company
where I undertook my placement, but if that
is not the case I would feel more confident
about working in the industry due to the
experiences gained over the last seven
months.
What was the best thing about your
placement?
Making new friends and the experience I
gained.
Any regrets about having undertaken
placement?
No.