Graduate success stories: Gayle Boyd
Tell us about your time at UWS
My time at UWS was great. I ended up studying Civil Engineering as I was initially doing Architecture but realised that was not for me as I wasn’t as creative as others. I enjoyed the vast amount of subjects that we done which allowed an insight in to the likes of setting out etc. I also met some amazing people along the way, some who are still friends to this day!
“Never be put off by one persons opinion of things as you have to decide for yourself what is best for you.”
Gayle Boyd, BEng Civil Engineering 2018
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
Since leaving UWS I have worked full time with Balfour Beatty on their graduate programme which I have recently completed in January. I have been lucky enough to experience a range of different jobs which allows me to learn different methods and techniques and develop on my engineering skills overall. I have worked on M77 Highway Maintenance, Burnshot Bridge and currently working on Motherwell Station Redevelopment project. Whilst at University I had a summer placement with Balfour Beatty which allowed me an insight in to the contractors side of engineering which I then decided was the route I was going to take after graduating.
What advice would you give to current students?
Look in to both designing and contracting to choose which is the right option for you to take. Consider all elements of the job e.g. sitting at a desk for 8 hours or working out in the rain for 8 hours. Never be put off by one persons opinion of things as you have to decide for yourself what is best for you.
Did you engage with the Careers Service at UWS?
I took part in the mentoring scheme in 3rd year to help develop my CV and interviewing skills. This was a great opportunity as it allowed me to meet with people from Balfour Beatty and for them to give me tips and tricks when it came to CV and interviews. We also carried out mock interviews which helped me out when it came to actual interviews for jobs.
If any, what reservations did you have before taking part in these activities?
Before taking part in these, I always lacked confidence in myself and my own ability. I always put myself down and never thought I was good enough, however whilst doing the mock interviews etc I realised I had nothing to be worried about and it was all in my head. This all came down to it being a new experience and something I had never done before but participating definitely allowed me to realise that I knew what I was doing I just had to believe in myself more.
How did you overcome these?
Overcoming these reservations took a bit of time as I generally lack confidence with everything I do, but thankfully meeting the mentors from Balfour Beatty they helped me to overcome my confidence issues and realise that I can do things just as well as everyone else. Still to this day I get nervous with things, however I remind myself that everyone is the same and I have nothing to worry about.
How have these experiences helped improve your employment prospects?
If I hadn’t taken on the summer placement and the mentoring scheme I wouldn’t be where I am today as I would have been apprehensive with attending interviews and always putting myself down. It has 100% helped me with my working life as I am now a lot more confident in myself and my ability to carry out tasks. Everyone makes mistakes but these are there to learn from and that’s what I continually remind myself.
First published: 25 March 2021