Poonam Lad is SWJ’s newest recruit as a structural engineering technician and first female employee. With relevant A-level qualifications and an interest in structural engineering; Poonam intends to formally begin her career with SWJ. Having completed an initial year at Birmingham University, Poonam hopes to restart her engineering studies to become a qualified structural engineer or technician.
‘In my first year at university I enjoyed the creative aspects of my course but despite having a decent grasp of the subject I quickly realised that university would not provide a learning experience I would thrive in and so I left both university and engineering. Once my friends graduated and joined various engineering disciplines I discovered the multitude of career options the engineering industry could offer me through work-based learning. I realised I had left engineering without exploring all the training options open to me.’
After working in the hospitality and childcare sectors Poonam decided to restart her career in engineering with SWJ Consulting leaving a role as a technician in an Oxford based company.
‘I haven’t decided which route I’d like to go down yet, but I know I’m either going to study to become a structural engineer or a better qualified and experienced technician. I want to complete an HNC and possibly an HND, but this is dependent on the career path I choose. I love being a technician because I thrive under the conceptual thinking required for the role, however, I have been looking at the option of becoming a structural engineer in the future. I think I need to take some time to think about my options as I gain more experience at SWJ.’
Poonam’s role as a technician is mainly office based, but she will be joining the team on site visits as her role at SWJ develops. ‘At the moment you’ll mainly find me supporting the team by playing around with the likes of Revit and CAD’.
Poonam is clearly excited to develop her knowledge and career path within SWJ Consulting Ltd; ‘I have hopefully found the right career and job for me now, so hopefully I’ll be here until they kick me out’. Rhys Skym one of the three Directors at SWJ commented in reply, ‘We are happy to hear that Poonam is enjoying her position with us and are sure she will feel like part of the furniture in no time.’
If you have an interest in starting a career in structural engineering, university isn’t always the only route. Some companies, like SWJ offer internships and apprenticeships. It’s worth some time investigating if the university scene isn’t a good fit for you.