Ahead of GCSE results day on Thursday (23 August), I am keen to share the stories of assistant building services engineers Zeinab Mohamed and Uzair Alimahomed. Here they explain how they found their way into the construction industry and share some advice for students picking up their results this year.

Zeinab Mohamed, assistant building services engineer

I heard about the Young Engineers scheme at a careers fair at my college – W&QE College, Leicester – and was attracted to it as I knew I would be gaining real life experience on the job whilst also being supported through my studies. Getting a job after university isn’t a guarantee so getting qualifications whilst working at Pick Everard solved that issue.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started but I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that it was actually my dream job. As an engineering consultant, I mainly deal with 3D modelling software and am based at Pick Everard’s Leicester office – although do also occasionally go onsite to see projects I’ve designed being installed, which is a really incredible experience.

My top tips for students receiving their GCSE results would be:

  • Consider all your options – university isn’t the only route to finding your dream job.
  • Do your research – the construction industry could hold your ideal career, like it did for me, but if you don’t research the opportunities available to you, you’ll never discover this.
  • It’s not all about your grades – employers are also concerned about the type of person you are, the skills you can apply to the role, your work experience and passion for the profession; so don’t rule out a career just because you didn’t get the ‘right grades’, there’s so much else that factors into hiring someone for a role or getting a place on a training scheme.

Uzair Alimahomed, assistant building services engineer

I don’t think you ever know if a career is for you until you’ve actually worked in it. I was certainly surprised when I first started at Pick Everard; I had no idea that there were so many different software tools and processes involved in delivering a project – not to mention the challenges and obstacles teams have to overcome to get a scheme off the ground.

I would recommend working in construction to anyone – it’s an enjoyable industry and you have the opportunity to work on some amazing projects and buildings. You’ll be carrying out lots of different roles and get the opportunity to use lots of different programmes, making every day different.

The variety of roles – and the variety within roles – is incredible. It’s been the perfect choice for me and I know that it will be for other students like me, who maybe hadn’t even thought about construction.

My top tips for students receiving their GCSE results would be:

  • Do what you enjoy – don’t be afraid to try new things and look into areas you haven’t considered before and remember that not knowing what to do is completely normal.
  • Ask questions – this is advice I’ve been given since starting on the Young Engineers scheme but it’s certainly applicable for students at any stage of their career. The more you ask, the more competent you become.
  • Talk to a careers advisor – I heard about the Young Engineers scheme via an email sent round by a careers advisor; so I would also recommend reading your emails!