Graduate Experience: First impressions of being a Graduate Consultant

Benjamin Ying
The graduate scheme at Faithful+Gould is now open for applications.

I remember last year when I was applying for graduate jobs, I wondered what working life was going to be like. Was I going to be able to fit in? What will my colleagues be like? How was I going to prepare for the transition from student to working adult?

So, I thought it would be useful to talk you through my first few months as a Graduate Consultant in the Strategic Asset Management (SAM) team, in this wonderful company to give you some insight into what your graduate journey could look like.

Who am I and what is the SAM team?

My name is Ben. I graduated in September 2018 from University College London with a Masters in Civil Engineering. When I was in university, I gained exposure to the world of management consulting and through this experience, I found that I enjoyed client facing work. In my final year, I was looking for a role where I could draw upon my industry knowledge from university but continue to work through problems with clients. The SAM team was an amazing fit as a consultancy within the built environment. Covering the fields of Facilities Management, Asset Management, Life Cycle Costing and Sustainability, this team assists clients in optimising their property strategies by considering how it will be used, maintained and serviced over its’ lifetime.

It’s just the start of what promises to be a wonderful career journey ahead!

Overview of my first months and first impressions

The first months   have been an enjoyable, holistic learning experience. In my short time here, I have gone through multiple induction and starter training exercises, planned a pub quiz and started work on multiple projects. Besides work, I have recently been putting a lot of thought into forming a personal development training plan, which charts my journey to becoming a competent consultant within the SAM team. Something clear about Faithful+Gould is how much is invested into staff training and development – the company is keen on making sure that we are well equipped to provide the world class services that are expected of this organisation.

Here are a couple of highlights and what I’ve loved thus far:

Culture and People

If there was one thing I didn’t expect, it was how friendly, helpful and approachable people are here. There is no one who hasn’t made time to sit down and explain different concepts to me. I have lost count of the number of times members of staff from all levels have offered me coffee, tea or snacks. We sit in an open plan, ‘hot-desking’ office which means I get to sit next to different people nearly every day. From this, you get to learn from experienced seniors who’ve been in the company for many years.

Coffees and Chats

From the start I was encouraged to talk to all my colleagues. In my first month, I went for get-to-know-you sessions over coffee with all our team members. This was a fantastic way to know people personally and learn about their careers and lives. I also have been asked many questions about my own life and experiences, so they got to know me better too! 

Socials

Right from the offset we have been out and about as a team. We’ve been to the local pubs a couple of times after work, gone for walks around the beautiful Regents Park and even played baseball over lunch time! It has been wonderful getting to spend time out of work with the team. We have a mile run around the park lined up and many social events in the planning for the next couple of months. As a graduate, I will have the chance to plan one in the near future.

Faithful+Gould invest in staff training and development – the company is keen on making sure that we are well equipped to provide the world class services that are expected of this organisation.

Meeting other Graduates and Apprentices

There were 17 of us starting out in the London and Southeast region. It has been a pleasure getting to meet people at the same stage of life. Together we have been planned a graduate pub quiz which has given us the opportunity to work with one another to organise a companywide event. Additionally, I have attended socials organised by other offices around the UK which has given me the chance to widen my network.

Graduate Induction

Faithful+Gould is part of something much bigger! The graduate induction was the first in a series of events that we participate in as part of the SNC Lavalin group. There were sessions on many practical topics (personal branding and diversity and inclusion to name just two) by leaders in the business. Over 350 graduates were present working all over the UK in various roles. This was a fantastic networking opportunity! Through collaborative exercises, we had the chance to work with graduates across the company, in businesses ranging from infrastructure design to nuclear power plants.

Looking forward, I am excited by the prospects for my development, the responsibilities I will be given and the chance to continue working with the amazing people around me. There are training sessions and lunch time talks lined up to expose us to the wider business and prepare us for chartership with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors coming up soon. Also, the graduate ski trip is coming up in January which is very exciting.

It’s just the start of what promises to be a wonderful career journey ahead!

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