Completing an undergraduate placement year, as part of a degree course, can be an excellent way to gain experience and put yourself ahead of the competition. Trainee Interior Architect, Hollie Moulder, explains how important such an opportunity has been for her and what it is like to complete an undergraduate placement at Bouygues Energies & Services…
I study Interior Architecture and Design at Nottingham Trent University and despite what you might think, it’s definitely not deliberating over wallpaper and throw cushions! During my course my favourite modules have been Design Studio and Technical Studies. I love using my creativity and working with a brief to produce a project that can be used in the real world. Technical Studies was interesting because I enjoyed learning the reality behind the more aesthetic aspects of design.
I’ve known that I wanted to work in building design of some description for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been super creative and I wanted to reflect that passion and energy into my future career. It was only during my A Levels that I discovered which course felt right for me, after visiting a Graduate Exhibition. When I got to see all the final year’s work, I was in complete awe of what they had produced and knew that I wanted to work towards producing something like they had.
Why a course with an undergraduate placement?
Picking a course that offered a placement year was really important to me for two reasons. Firstly, because experience is everything. You get the opportunity to put all the theory you have learned into practice and it gives you a genuine taste of what the real world of work in the industrial/design sector is like. For me, the experience of a placement has solidified why I chose my course in the first place, motivating me for my final year and my future career. Secondly, there are millions of students that graduate with high class honour degrees. I think that employers really do look for people who have previous knowledge of the career journey they’re about to embark on.
What made you choose Bouygues Energies & Services?
Within my course we were limited in what we got to learn about construction. I’m an eager learner, and since I’d only grasped a basic understanding, I wanted to push myself and gain a much better knowledge of the construction process. It’s something that I had always had an interest in, which is why I chose to complete my placement at BYES.
I have really enjoyed my time at BYES, not just because of what I am learning here, but also because of the social network the job has provided. Although there are times where I feel a little out of my depth, the office has a great atmosphere with lots of friendly faces to support and encourage me. With the help of my amazing mentor, I am developing my skills and feeling more confident in my work every day. I think that BYES pushes you to excel in your work, whilst also growing you as an individual.
Personal highlights during my time here have included my first work night out! As well as this completing my first tender submission under a difficult time frame was challenging and really pushed me, but it reminded me of the satisfaction and relief I felt after a Uni hand in. I was also delighted to find out that one of my presentations was presented to clients in Japan!
What was it like moving to a new city?
It was pretty scary to move to a new place, especially working and living with people that I didn’t know, but it’s actually one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m continuously building my confidence and have met some amazing people that have really helped me settle in.
Any advice for current undergraduates?
Get involved with work activities and don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they’re stupid. You aren’t expected to know everything!