Eleanore Nash, September 6, 2016
My entire experience at SCS Group has been both interesting and rewarding, giving me a broad overview of what the company does, how it works and what its future ambitions are.
I’ve been introduced to a world that was previously completely unknown to me, discovering how standard smoke control systems and BMS operate. I have caught a glimpse of some of the responsibilities of Contracts Managers, Design Managers, Project Managers and Regional Managers, as they found time in their busy schedules to talk to me.
Not off-limits to women
Mostly though, I’ve had my stereotypical view of construction completely shattered as SCS Group showed me that it’s not an industry which is off-limits to women.
SCS Group has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, reinforcing skills I already had and helping me develop others. I’ve written stories and reports on topics which were entirely unfamiliar to me. Relying partly on SCS team members who were willing to explain the intricacies of each system and partly on my own research into a story’s background or into a system’s functionality, I’ve produce a range of articles and case studies I’m rather proud of.
Mirroring real working life, there were some frustrating occasions when I struggled to get hold of various crucial people without whom I couldn’t continue my own assigned projects. There were also times when I needed to use my own initiative to find article ideas to keep myself busy. I’ve benefitted immensely from this experience and have enjoyed working alongside SCS team members in a relaxed environment. There are some moments, however, which stand out from the rest.
Best moments of internship
The best day of my internship was, without a shadow of a doubt, my second trip to London when I got to see the project sites up-close.
I travelled all over the country’s capital, using almost every mode of transport possible in a single day (including bus, train, tube, DLR, taxi and even a cable car – without forgetting my poor little legs).
The early start and late finish were entirely worth it, as I can now say that I’ve stood on the roof of a Grade I-listed building and looked out onto some of the best sites London has to offer.
I’ve climbed up a metal ladder, while trying to find my footing in clumpy safety boots. I’ve been caught taking selfies in a hardhat and high-visibility jacket at Limehouse Basin and I’ve even followed in James Bond’s footsteps, visiting the old Midland Bank vault. What more could you want?
Other highlights have to include the feeling of joy and relief when I first got through to a project manager to discuss the case studies and seeing the first article I wrote for SCS Group up on their website.
A few thanks
My internship has been rewarding and I’d like to thank Allan Meek for giving me this opportunity and for ensuring the experience was well-rounded so I could get the most out of it – which I certainly did! I don’t take for granted the time he took to introduce me to SCS Group and the construction industry as a whole.
Most of all, thank you to Ceri Garner-Jones for taking time out of her own busy schedule to edit the articles and blog posts I seemed to incessantly send her way. Thank you for being my mentor and for making me a better reporter.
I’m also indebted to Luke Wilczek and Dave Jenkinson who answered all my questions and allowed me to complete my assigned case studies, though I do apologise for constantly emailing and ringing half a dozen times a day. I really appreciate you taking me to see the various project sites and acting as my tour guides for the day.
Thank you to Faye Young as well, for helping me choose which projects to focus on and for being a point of reference throughout my internship.
I’m also grateful to Mike Jackson and John Kavanagh, who gave up their time to talk to me about SCS Group’s involvement at ExtraCare’s Bournville Gardens Retirement Village, and to Rhys Powell for making Building Information Modelling a little bit less alien.
Thank you to Chris Connolly, Macarena Machado, Margaret Meek and Nerys Guerin for chatting to me during lunch breaks, and to everyone else for being so friendly and for making me feel welcome. I’ve had a wonderful time during my internship.