Back in October we shared how Finley Abbot and Christian Thompson were settling into their first month as Graduates and apprentices at TSP Projects, we decided to check in on them to see how it’s been going.

When we last spoke you were at an interesting time in your educational journey, how has that progressed since last year?

Christian: I’ve now been in the company for coming up to a year, and I have progressed way beyond where I was expecting to be by now. I have learned so much, and been involved in so many different and exciting projects. I am now in the process of my route to chartership. This is still in the early stages, so I’m trying to get as much experience on a wide variety of work.

Finley: I’ve just finished the first year of my HNC, its going very well, I’ve got 100% in all the units that I’ve done this year.

Now that you’re settled into office life, what have been some of the challenges and accomplishments you’ve experienced?

Christian: After coming into working life from university, I think one of the hardest challenges was consistently getting up early in the mornings. However, because of all the exciting work I have been involved with, it hasn’t been hard to make that transition. It’s a joy to get to work.

Finley: There haven’t been many challenges that I have personally encountered as I have had good support during the time I’ve been here. The biggest accomplishment I feel is being able to study an HNC and an NVQ whilst also having a consistent work stream and working on various projects in the Reading office.

What’s been some of the exciting work you’ve been able to get involved with?

Christian: Initially, I was heavily involved with the GWRM project in the electrification team. With it being such a large project, it felt exciting to work with such a range of people. I was exposed to many aspects of the design, enabling me to learn a huge amount in OLE design.

More recently I have been involved in smaller projects such as Tangential Wiring. As this project is smaller, I feel my input is much more valued and I feel like I’m an integral member of the design team. This project has allowed me to contribute some of my own design ideas that I’ve learned along the way, and is giving me so much experience in the design process.

Finley: LOCROS has been a big learning curve for me; I’ve had some valuable experiences, and some good opportunities to get involved in things that I never thought I’d be doing when I started my apprenticeship, working with the management side of LOCROS, attending client meetings and going on site visits.

What are the benefits for young students getting into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) career?

Christian: I think one of the biggest benefits of getting into a STEM related job, is that more often than not, you can actually see the effects that your work is having on the world. Being able to go out and see your own design is so exciting.

Finley: Getting into a STEM career gives so many opportunities to grow and achieve. If you have a strong knowledge of any of the STEM subjects the skills are transferable between a varied range of career paths. It keeps your options broad and allows you to define the type of career that you want to build.

What advice would you give other graduates who’ve finished uni and thinking about the next step?

Christian: Whatever path you decide to take, you should never stop learning. Make sure you have a passion for the job that you’re doing, It makes every day so much easier.

And Finley, what advice would you give someone who’s working and studying at the same time?

I know it’s a bit cliché and everyone always says it but, just keep everything organised and keep on top of it all, it does really help! Everyone is there to support you so if you need some spare time for work or for study then there’s no harm in asking!