Glenn Armstrong

Glenn Armstrong

Graduate Apprentice

Country United Kingdom

Specialisms Design, construction, structural

Career highlights

My working day

I work in the design office at Goodsons Associates in Edinburgh. I can work on anything between one to five projects at any one time - from a simple drawing edit to being the lead drafter on a major project.

As an apprentice, being able to take what I learn in university and apply it to real life projects is a huge boost to my professional career. Being able to visualise the impact that I make on projects is not only satisfying, but it also motivates me to learn more and progress my skills to the next level.

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I enjoy being able to see what I have contributed to and am able to say with confidence, that I played a role in the design of that project .

Glenn Armstrong

Graduate Apprentice

The highlight of my apprenticeship is …

Being able to take what I learn in university and apply it to real life projects. Being able to visualise the impact that I make on projects is not only satisfying, but it also motivates me to learn more and progress my skills to the next level.

As I only came to Scotland to undertake the apprenticeship, I have found that it is beneficial on both a technical and social level as I have met many great people through both university and work who could potentially turn out to be very important contacts throughout my career.

A typical day in my life

No two days are the same when it comes to my job. Working in the design office on between 1 and 5 projects at any one time ensures that I stay busy. Tasks can include anything from a simple drawing edit that takes 10 minutes to myself being the lead drafter on a project that can last months.

Sure, there are always challenges that occur, but working closely with professionals such as architects, engineers and project managers, I find that there is always someone within a phone call away that can offer advice and guidance on the task at hand.

What would you say to anyone considering a civil engineering apprenticeship?

Go for it! I was sceptical when I first thought about undertaking the graduate apprenticeship for many reasons; starting a whole new life in a new country, new job, new people, new challenges, but I have so many new opportunities arise.

Being able to undertake a bachelors degree in four years while gaining four years industrial experience will contribute immensely to my career progression, potentially shortening the time it will take to become fully chartered. And I'm gaining some valuable skills and knowledge that doesn’t get taught at university. The main benefit was getting a degree free of cost while also being paid a full-time wage.

What about being a civil engineer apprentice gets you out of bed each morning?

Knowing that I am going to contribute to a real life project that could potentially have a great impact on many peoples lives. Once the project has finished on site, I enjoy being able to see what I have contributed to and am able to say with confidence, that I played a role in the design.

Name one civil engineering myth you’d like to bust?

Civil engineering and engineers are boring. Safe to say I have busted this myth as I am far from boring. I play for a football team a few times per week and take part in various other social activities each week. I feel that it is important to have a good work/life balance in order to express yourself in a positive way.

Being able to work flexible hours in my office has been extremely beneficial as it allows me to be more flexible with my social life.

Anything else? i.e. personal causes, hobbies?

I moved to Edinburgh from Northern Ireland solely to undertake the civil engineering graduate apprenticeship. Starting a new life in a new country has its own challenges, never mind starting university and a new job.

Since starting the apprenticeship, I have found myself to be more confident, understanding and comfortable in my job which has a great impact on the work that I produce. Now in my second year, I have seen a great change in my own communication and technical skills, which I am proud of as these are key skills that help lead to a successful career in civil engineering.

Visualising civil engineering from both a theoretical and applied point of view has not only broadened my knowledge but my expectations of what the industry entails. I have learnt things that I never knew existed. This has encouraged me to continue learning and as I progress through the apprenticeship, I am confident that I will continue to enjoy learning some of the many weird and wonderful aspects that civil engineering has to offer.

I want to become a civil engineer.

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