Chloe Dean

Current employer: LG

Current job title: Site Engineer and AutoCAD Technician

Current location: Devon

β€œThe course was varied and the range of modules covered was great, which prepared me for entering the engineering industry.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

I took about two years out to raise my son and to have my daughter. I started working as a Site Engineer with LG in August, 2015. I set up my own CAD Freelance business in January, 2016, but have been focusing mainly on my Site Engineering career three or four days a week and spending the rest of the week with my children.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

The best thing in my career was to take on my own site for the first time; I enjoyed the responsibility and had to rely on myself to carry out all aspects of engineering that was needed.

What would you do differently since graduating?

I wouldn't do anything differently since graduating. I now work three days a week and spend the other four days with my children, which gives me a great work-life balance. I get to travel all over the South West of England on a wide variety of sites, working mainly outdoors which suits me perfectly.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

I would have focused more on independent research; I would also have made more use of the lecturers and the University services, such as the Writing CafΓ©, for advice and help in subjects where I was struggling.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

I spent a lot of time in the library and also made use of the CV writing advice service in The Hub; however, in hindsight, I would have used the services much more and I encourage students to make the most of what the University has to offer.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

Hearing anecdotes from many of the lecturers inspired me to continue on the path of engineering; many of them had travelled around the world with their jobs and this changed my career plans. Initially, I only wanted to stay in the South West, but now I am considering jobs in other countries in the future, when the children have grown up and I've gained more experience.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

The course was varied and the range of modules covered was great, which prepared me for entering the engineering industry. With hindsight, I would have liked to have learnt more about the physical building process and materials involved in construction, but the journey after graduation is always a learning curve.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth?

Plymouth is a great place to study. The new Marine Building provides a great facility to undertake practical sessions on the civil engineering courses. The atmosphere and development of the campus is great and the course was enjoyable. The city is experiencing a boost in its economy with major projects underway, many of which I have been involved with as a Site Engineer.

Undergraduate civil engineering students conducting a hands-on activity in the Brunel heavy structures laboratory W14