Louise Chenery, Apprentice Civil Engineer

As soon as I learned what civil engineering is, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Engineering shapes so many things in our lives and having the ability to both design and create really inspires me.

I knew this choice of career would mean every day would be different, bringing challenges to me personally and within my work. Since signing up to my degree apprenticeship with FM Conway and London South Bank University I have not been disappointed.

It’s proving to be a great opportunity to study for a degree while also working full time and gaining real-world experience. I enjoy the variety of my activities and the fact that my ‘office’ is a range of fascinating sites, such as the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project.

My work in Rochester is a valuable opportunity to expand my on-the-job experience of the planning, construction and maintenance of a significant structure in a busy, moving environment. I’m also enjoying the additional challenge of applying modern engineering in the context of a heritage structure.

As this project begins I’m in the first year of my apprenticeship, which lasts for two years within a five year degree. It’s already given me a wealth of experience and I’m really pleased I chose to work and study – it’s great to know I’ll have a degree and relevant experience to get a job, which is something very few other people can say.

I spend one day a week at university, with the rest of the week working. In my free time I enjoy playing football for a ladies’ team based in Sidcup.