Stephanie Smith is a Graduate Environmental Advisor working for Kier BAM at Hinkley Point C
I’ve been part of the Kier graduate programme for around eighteen months now. My first placement was at Hinkley Point C, before I moved up to Cumbria for a short time working on another construction project. I’m now back at Hinkley getting all the procedures and documentation in place before Kier BAM begins earthworks.
I studied Environmental Science at university – Geography was my favourite subject at school, but rather than do my degree in geography I knew I wanted to do something a bit different which would allow me to learn new things and spend time outside of an office once I got a job.
When I finished my degree I never really thought that I would be able to do anything other than consulting work – my Dad works in construction and recommended I have a look at Kier’s graduate scheme. I did – and I was accepted.
Hinkley Point is a great place to work – there’s a strong team and it’s a really diverse place. Although at the moment a lot of work is going on to get things in order before earthworks begin, I know I’ll be spending a lot of time out on the site ensuring that we stick to environmental regulations and complying with procedures. Sometimes something might happen, like a vehicle has a leak of some sort, and it’ll be up to our team to go out and inspect the area and make sure things are appropriately cleared up.
I like the diversity my job entails, and that I can get involved in lots of different environmental aspects, one day it could be ecology focused, another day it could be looking at the watercourses on site. I enjoy writing, so I also contribute to an environmental blog on our Hinkley Point C team extranet and provide environmental messaging for briefings and campaigns for the rest of the workforce.
Although there are not many women doing the same job as me at Hinkley Point C, I like to think that more will consider a career in construction or engineering once they know the opportunities are out there. I would always advise any people thinking about what to do with their future to do some research and see what careers might be out there that they may never have even heard of.
I hope to stay on the project for some time and really make a difference, whether that’s implementing a new process which makes things easier, or coming up with an idea which might save the project time or money.