When I first started at WSP I was so nervous, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first few months were good but I found them hard sometimes. I went from being a student with half terms and early finishes, to full-time work with fewer holidays and longer days while trying to keep up with college. And I was still getting to know everyone. However, the support I received from the company and my team was incredible. This made it so much easier for me to settle into the working world.
I started learning new software and did a lot of training, which has lead me to work on massive projects such as Crossrail‘s Paddington Station, and I am currently working on Euston Station for High Speed 2. It feels crazy but also amazing that I am only 17 years old and I have had the chance to work on some of the biggest projects in the country. I have been on some site visits, which are always exciting. I have seen 100 Bishopsgate, Paddington Station and Liverpool Street Station. It’s so interesting seeing what I see on paper, in a drawing, in real life. It is such an amazing feeling knowing I worked on projects that benefit people’s everyday lives.
I have been overwhelmed with the number of opportunities I have been given. Since being with WSP I have been interviewed by The Guardian, which involved a photoshoot in one of London’s new Crossrail stations at Liverpool Street, 40 meters underground! The article led to me being asked to talk about my story with Professor Brian Cox at his Summer Science School. I also spoke about getting more women into engineering, and hopefully inspired young people to take the same route as I did.
I was also selected to be a representative for one of WSP’s two Brathay teams. This was for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, in which different companies select a team of apprentices to take part in a number of tasks. The challenge involved taking part in school talks, charity work, social media tasks and other activities, building up achievement points. The two WSP teams attended an event at the Houses of Parliament, where the finalists were announced. The other WSP team was named a finalist, which goes to show what an amazing company WSP is.
Deciding to take an apprenticeship route with WSP is the best decision I have made. I feel like I have achieved so much in just one year! Also, as a person, I feel I have gained so much confidence, independence and maturity. I have had amazing opportunities and worked on some amazing projects. I’m so grateful WSP decided to take me on as an apprentice and for all their support.
Lois Medley is an apprentice in the rail team at WSP.