[My placement year] set me up to pursue a job in the contracting sector. Since graduating, I have done just that, working from a graduate engineer to now a section engineer. I hope to work towards becoming a senior engineer in the next 6 months.
More about Akintomide
Akintomide graduated with his BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering in 2020. He now works for Laing O’Rourke as a Section Engineer. We caught up with him to reflect on his time at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), and to see how things are going now.
Why did you choose to study at NTU?
I decided to study at NTU due to hearing good things about the university from friends and family who have previously studied at the university. NTU also had a fantastic reputation with the football programme at the time and I was passionate about playing football.
What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures? What still makes you smile when you look back?
I learned a lot during my time at university. The main things I took from my time at NTU was improving my time management skills, being organised overall, and developing myself in the field of civil engineering. I owe a significant amount of this to the supportive lecturers I had throughout the 5-6 years of my studies.
Outside of lectures I thoroughly enjoyed playing football for NTU. I loved being part of a team, and I was also fortunate enough to be involved in varsity for one of my university years at the university, and we won! This experience was both enjoyable and memorable for me.
What does your current day involve?
On a typical day as a section engineer at Laing O'Rourke, I am involved with planning and overseeing the constriction of the infrastructure on my project. Such infrastructures include roads, railways, bridges and earthworks. My key responsibilities include making sure the works on the project are completed to the standard provided for health and safety and quality, whilst also managing the resources, and ensuring the engineering control on the project is correct.
What attracted you to this field of work?
During my placement year at NTU, I worked within the contracting field of civil engineering. I didn’t know much about this area, however I thoroughly enjoyed my year and it set me up to pursue a job in the contracting sector. Since graduating, I have done just that, working from a graduate engineer to now a section engineer. I hope to work towards becoming a senior engineer in the next 6 months.
What challenges have you faced?
I have had a few setbacks so far in my academic life and career. One of these was not achieving the required grades during sixth form to get accepted into university. Although I knew I was capable, I never really applied myself to my studies. However, I set a goal to be accepted into university, and once I was there I started to gain confidence both in my personal life and professional career. This taught me the importance of setting goals, whether short-term or longer-term. No matter what situation you find yourself in and obstacles you come up against, having something to aim towards is imperative.
A quote I particularly like is “a goal without a plan is just a wish”.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
The highlights of my career so far have been achieving my undergraduate and postgraduate degree at NTU. This achievement is particularly rewarding for me due to the initial disappointment I experienced when receiving my sixth form exam results.
What are your plans for the future?
The plans I have set for the future include becoming a chartered engineer within the next 3 years. I am also aiming to complete my Incorporated Engineer professional qualification within the next year.
If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?
Don’t worry about anything. Everything will fall into place and you will end up on the right journey.