During my final year at Settle College, when I studied Business & Economics with Mr Murphy, the school invited previous student, Richard Howson, CEO of Carillion, into school to talk with the Business students.
Carillion is an international construction and facilities management company. Inspired and thinking ahead, I took the opportunity to ask him about my placement year in industry whilst at University. I received his card and, earlier this year, I contacted Mr Howson to see if it would be possible for me to gain work experience over the summer with Carillion. At most, I was expecting a few days or a week in a Carillion office. However, I never expected Mr Howson would offer me a month’s experience moving around different areas of the company – I couldn’t say no to that!
The month was based over June and July; each week I was based somewhere different. First, I was in the Customer Experience Centre (CEC) in Sheffield; the second week I spent time with joint venture, Carillion Telent in Chorley, the third week in Wolverhampton at Headquarters, Carillion House, and the final week out ‘in the field’ in Yorkshire with the Northern contract. I hadn’t realised how large Carillion is until I spent time with different areas of the business. I really appreciated the fact I was moved around the company, as I could gain a lot more experience.
I was based with management teams for the month – visiting different sites, being involved in conference calls to London, Dubai and Canada and in 6 hour meetings (I tried my best to keep up!). I gained real, valuable business experience in HR, corporate communications, sustainability, sales and operations. Highlights included making great contacts in several areas of Carillion, and finding out what I was most interested in career-wise. I really enjoyed the final week working on the Northern contract – this contract involves maintaining all the stations in the north.
Looking forward, I hope to return to Carillion for my placement year, focusing on contract project management in Operations. I would also like to gain experience in the bidding process for new contracts.
I had an amazing month’s work experience and I would like to thank Settle College for inviting Richard Howson into school; I would never have had this great opportunity without Settle College – thank you!