Graduate Experience: The impact of a warm welcome and early engagement

Jonathon Fisher
The 'diary' of a Graduate Quantity Surveyor...

I’m not too proud to say I was a bit nervous before starting at Faithful+Gould. For context, I’d left my role selling production music into TV and advertising to embark on a quantity surveying career, from scratch, as a non-cognate graduate.

As my start date drew nearer, I received an invitation to the Infrastructure Departments bi-annual review day; a brilliant opportunity to meet the team, take part in the team-building exercises and get an understanding of the team’s ambition. Following this intensive session, I was also invited to the Summer Party – a celebration of 70 years of Faithful+Gould. Meeting my new colleagues in both a working and social environment prior to stepping foot in the office on my first day, settled my initial nerves so I could hit the ground running. The welcoming and collaborative nature of my colleagues really set the tone from the offset. It’s fair to say I was pleasantly surprised at just how welcoming everyone in the team and wider organisation were.

Once I had officially joined Faithful+Gould, a team lunch was arranged for the graduates, buddies and managers. It was a great introduction to the buddy scheme, a supportive and approachable group of colleagues, happy to answer any question – even something you think might be silly, such as ‘what should be on my timesheet?’.

It was not just the buddies that were keen to make sure my fellow graduates and I had settled in. Soon after joining, I was invited to lunch by a senior member of the Infrastructure Team. A gesture that has stuck with me since. It highlighted that Faithful+Gould was not as hierarchical as I had originally anticipated, or one might think of a global organisation.  My colleagues are down-to-earth, and value the opinions of everyone on the team, regardless of their seniority – this became clear very early on.

The graduate first year induction event took place in Birmingham during my first month at Faithful+Gould. This event was incredibly thorough, empowering and informative. Through a series of activities across three days, we discovered the range of services Atkins can offer its clients, how the different business sectors work together for the best outcomes and what our role within this wider ecosystem is. Like any residential, you bond quickly with those you’re with; it was an excellent way to build a network of similar-minded people, all at the same stage in their careers.

It was at this induction event that a group of us decided to sign up together as a Faithful+Gould contingent for the Atkins Ski Trip. We’ve also gone on to take part in some of the many sporting activities available to employees, including hockey and 5-a-side football. Some of the people I met at this induction event have become good friends of mine; recently travelling across the country together to watch rugby.

There are plenty of social opportunities to get involved in outside of sports too – one of my favourites thus far has been the graduate quiz night. Last year I loved playing the role of quiz master, but it was a team effort with the collaboration and engagement of a whole team of graduates.  This year I thought the team did an excellent job organising it. Being an attendee this year, sitting round the table with colleagues relaxed, having fun whilst speculating at answers and jeering rival teams brought to realisation the importance and impact early engagement and the warm welcome I experienced had had on me. The opportunities to meet people and socialise are vast and worth taking up, and when in the position of welcoming new members of staff even the smallest of personal gestures – like a lunch invitation – really can make a difference.

Find out more about our Graduate Scheme 2019 here 

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