Omar and Ryan on site

Ryan writes:

I have just finished four weeks of work experience with VGC.

I wanted to do the internship because I am interested in the field of engineering and construction, but wanted to know more about the industry in order to decide if it was a good fit for me.

Work experience activities

One of the first things I did was formatting CVs from candidates, and putting everything in the right typeface and font size. I would then pass them on to the recruitment consultants to send to clients.

After this I moved on to project mapping. The aim was to help the personnel team contact people on specific projects, such as Barking Riverside, and Thames Tideway. I was searching for people who could hire candidates. To do this I used Boolean logic search strings on social media platforms like LinkedIn, to produce a spreadsheet with over 500 names and job titles of potential employers.

Later, I began qualifying candidates for a facilities manager role by searching for and reading CVs. I researched what a facilities management role would entail, reading the job description and person specification as well as an example CV. After I created a list of five candidates, one was sent to the client.

I also signed off on time sheets using Adobe Acrobat to check and sign time sheets and invoices from contractors, before forwarding them to payroll. This was a small job but I was very thankful to VGC for trusting me with such a task.

In the marketing department I spent time designing surveys to send out to clients. I drafted letters to candidates and clients to request they answer the survey, and organised the incentives.

A large part of my time was spent copying data sheets into the redesigned layout with the new logo. I wrote data sheets for projects such as the new Old Oak Common depot, HS2 Phase 2b, and Whitechapel. I was even trusted to communicate with suppliers Cara Stationery and Calderstone on behalf of VGC Group to produce a health and safety poster and procure corporate gifts.

With Omar Miah, who was also on an internship, I was given the opportunity to visit an active construction site in Thames Valley, and we had a tour of the work being done (from a safe distance of course).

Some of the things I learned are:Ryan talking about his internship

Personnel

  • How to format a CV for employers to read
  • What sort of roles are involved in engineering and construction such as environmental advisers and archaeologists
  • The importance of an online presence on sites like LinkedIn; being easy to contact by including contact details on your profile, and keeping your employment history up to date and specific

General

  • The importance of time management, managing my time effectively in order to arrive on time and complete tasks in time
  • An experience of working in a real office under ‘full time’ employment

Marketing

  • The importance of brand recognition and having a consistent theme in everything from emails to presentations
  • How to liaise with suppliers
  • Writing a datasheet in a way that sells VGC to clients by emphasising our added value

The most challenging job:

  • I found creating the data sheets for personnel the most challenging job. The hardest part was finding a way to write what VGC did to help the client without repeating the same thing on all of the sheets.

Biggest achievement

  • One of my biggest jobs was mapping projects to gain information on who we should contact in order to place a candidate. In the end my list contained 513 names and job titles sorted by project.

I would like to thank Career Ready and the following people for organising the experience, and being so welcoming throughout my internship:

  • Anna Trocme Latter
  • Keith Reynolds
  • Matt Teasdale and the Personnel team
  • Zena Wigram
  • Laurence Mckidd
  • Laura Perry

Author: Ryan Waite, year 12 at Queen’s School

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