Steven never planned on doing a degree, but his drive to develop professionally led him to university.
'When I started my apprenticeship eight years ago I never envisaged doing a degree, but fast forward to the present day and I’m now completing my degree – I feel really proud of what I have achieved.'
I was already working in the industry and wanted to develop professionally, so I decided to study for my degree part-time. Teesside is one of the only universities in the North East to deliver the course on a part-time basis. Also, this course will enable me to develop and gain my professional membership with the Institution of Civil Engineers.
I really enjoy developing my academic skills alongside the practical skills I gain at work. It’s really helped my all-round development. My favourite module has been Hydraulics and Hydrology because it’s the module most closely related to my current work in carrying out drainage design and flood alleviation schemes. I improved my knowledge around the subject and learned about areas that I hadn’t covered in the workplace. This gave me a greater understanding of some of the schemes I’ve been involved in and also allowed me to bring a greater depth of knowledge to future projects.
Completing the degree has not been without its challenges and for me the biggest one was finding the time to complete coursework and revision around my full-time job. But the quality of teaching and information provided by the lecturers has really helped my learning and supported me through my course.
I’m currently working as an assistant engineer for Capita. My day-to-day job involves carrying out highway and drainage design work around various site in the North East of England. I have also been seconded part time to the Environment Agency to carry out a site supervisor role as part of their flood asset recovery programme based in Leeds. Working on a large range of jobs with various clients constantly provides new challenges. I enjoy the creativity required when designing a scheme to fit in with the surrounding environment.
Although I was already employed, this course has helped me progress within my role at the company. The knowledge I’ve developed allows me to gain a more detailed understanding of problems that occur on site, and it’s also given me the ability to find solutions to problems.
I would definitely recommend the University and course to both part-time and full-time students. When I started my apprenticeship eight years ago I never envisaged doing a degree, but fast forward to the present day and I’m now completing my degree – I feel really proud of what I have achieved in my career so far.