Chloe Bennett - Project Engineer - Geotechnical
What attracted you to a career in engineering, and to your specific discipline?
Engineering is a very exciting area to work within – it combines the skills of problem solving and analytical thinking with a pinch of imagination to provide solutions to the client’s questions. I’ve always favoured mathematics and physics over other areas of expertise as these can help you understand how the world works. I’ve grown up competing nationally and internationally in windsurfing, and have been a coach for the sport since I was 16 years old. I love to be outdoors and a job where I’d be indoors all the time just wouldn’t satisfy this love. Geotechnical and environmental engineering provides the perfect fit of engineering combined with variety and working outdoors.
What made you choose Rolton Group?
From the very first interview, Rolton Group came across as a company who care about their employees. Everyone I met during my in-house interview was friendly and willing to help with any questions I had. The company strive for progression and provide huge amounts of training and support - this is really important as this will help me grow within the company. Rolton Group also have regular social events which are great for breaking-the-ice and meeting new people.
What was your interview and selection process with Rolton Group like?
I initially applied for the role through a recruitment company who carried out a telephone interview followed by a group assessment centre. These were both really great opportunities with feedback given at both stages to help prepare me for my interview with Julian Bradbury and Peter Rolton. I was then invited to an in-house interview which felt relaxed and Peter and Julian were really friendly. It only took three days to find out that I had the job!
Could you describe what your working day usually consists of?
A typical day varies – as a member of the Geo team we could either be on site or in the office. Site work could be at a variety of locations from a remote area of agricultural land to a warehouse at an industrial estate, and the work might then involve trial pitting, percolation testing, water sampling – the list goes on. In the office, the work is generally focused around writing up results, followed by compiling and interpreting the information to present in a report.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role brings so much variety – no two projects are the same which means everyday I’m doing something a little bit different. I also enjoy being able to work outside to investigate the different ground conditions and it’s always good to be out in the fresh air and enjoying some sun.
How would you describe the working culture in your office?
This is the first office based job I’ve ever had so I really wasn’t sure what to expect but the office is open plan and this works really well with all members of the Geo team sat near each other. This is great for when I have questions as I don’t have to go far for help. The layout also helps if a project has additional engineering elements from another team (civil, foundations, etc.) as you can see when they’re free and go have a chat with them about the project. Everyone is really friendly and support is always available.
Has the company lived up to your initial expectations?
It’s great here, I have felt welcome in the team and in the company, from the offset. The company is very inclusive and trusting – the level of responsibility I have been given already has most definitely exceeded expectation, yet I have remained supported through everything I do.
What are you career aspirations?
In the immediate future, I want to become a chartered geologist - this is something I can apply for once I have gained four years of experience in my discipline. Further down the line, I want to be a Director. I want to push myself and excel in any role I am given and be a role model and inspiration for anyone else wanting to succeed and pursue a career in STEM roles.
How is Rolton Group helping you to achieve these goals?
Rolton Group have provided the means to have meetings with an external mentor whenever it is needed but they have also paid for my fellowship application to the London Geological Society. Opportunities are always provided to ask questions and explore new topics with guidance from more senior engineers, as this will help develop my knowledge. I am always attending more senior meetings and having direct contact with clients which is essential for my growth within the business.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their career in the engineering/built environment industry?
Take every opportunity you can to gain experience and get involved. Also, be persistent and put in 110% - the opportunities are out there for you. It takes a bit of hard work, but the rewards will be worth it.