Adam Phillips, graduate recruitment lead at AECOM, explains what new recruits can expect from the graduate scheme and gives his advice on tackling the assessment process
What do you look for in an employee?
We recruit students of around 35 different degree disciplines. We'll consider any graduate with a 2:2 or above, with no more than two years of relevant post-graduation work experience.
Teamwork and communication skills are key, particularly when working within multidisciplinary teams and when working with our international offices. Our graduates must also be adaptable and confident, and have the drive and determination to continuously improve their skills and knowledge. We also look for people from a range of demographics, to encourage new ways of thinking.
What makes a graduate stand out?
Work experience and effort in their application form. Then, later in the assessment process, the ability to clearly and concisely communicate their answers, and the ability to engage with others within a team.
More and more students are applying with at least one or two periods of relevant work experience. This shows drive and motivation, but also provides them with a greater understanding of technical knowledge and the work environment. Remember, it's about quality not quantity at all stages of the assessment process; so answer the question, don't waffle and don't digress - unless it supports your answer to the specific question.
How is the graduate programme at AECOM structured?
We take on around 400 graduates every year across a diverse range of teams and disciplines. The aim of the programme is to support our graduates towards professional accreditation, and develop them into future leaders of our business.
The programme starts with a two-day induction, where around 80 graduates from across the UK and Ireland meet some of our senior leaders, enjoy interactive networking sessions with the other graduates, and learn more about AECOM and the development support that they'll receive.
There are several training modules throughout the programme that run alongside the technical training specific to your team and discipline. You'll be supported by your line manager and mentor, who'll conduct regular reviews to ensure that you're receiving the relevant training and experience to quickly progress towards your chartership.
What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the engineering sector?
Ensure you get some engineering work experience while doing your degree. Even if it isn't 100% transferable, it shows drive and a willingness to develop.