Juliet - Assistant NEC Project Manager
I started out at Hertfordshire County Council as a Trainee Technician with Mouchel, having done an MA in Eighteenth Century Literature- not the most logical entry into Civil Engineering! However when I decided to pursue it as a career, I studied part time over a six year period, whilst working and training full time.
Opus has been extremely supportive, funding me through my Civil Engineering degree and providing numerous Project Management and NEC training courses, as well as in house opportunities. It has also allowed me to grow and change within the business, finding my way and ultimately my strengths as I moved throughout the teams in the Whole Client Service.
Having started my career with Opus in the Safety Engineering team, I approached the Bridges and Structures team to assist on day and night time bridge inspections until a full time position became available. After a period there, I moved to Major Projects, undertaking a mammoth project in the Hatfield Station Improvements. It involved liaising with numerous stakeholders and was an extremely high profile scheme for the county that threw me into contract and project management. It was from then on that I knew that the Contract Procurement and Development team was really where I wanted to be.
"The ability to be able to try something different and make it happen myself has given me invaluable experience and job satisfaction, and further cements my reason for joining Opus."
Opus has a strong sense of community and care for their teams. There’s a great social circle where regular events are organised throughout the year including BBQs, river cruises and even white water rafting! However I think Opus’ best quality is that it successfully and confidently competes with much bigger consultancies. We are industry leaders and it’s great to be at the forefront of that.
Ben - Principal Project Manager
On a day to day basis, I am heavily involved with the delivery of the Highways Service Term contract, and my team’s involvement is spread across the breadth of the service. Being at the delivery end of projects means I end up working with most teams within the service and coordinating them all to bring a final package of works together. Though this can mean there is often a lot to deal with, I enjoy the problem solving aspect of my job, and find it challenges me daily.
Though I plan my work for the week, I often quickly find that due to the nature of my role, I have to deal with the immediate issues whether contract, safety or delivery related. These sorts of issues always keep me on my toes! I really enjoy the variety in pace that working in a local authority brings.
Having worked at Opus for a year and a half now, I've been thoroughly supported in my development by receiving both technical professional training and the opportunity to work closely alongside senior HCC teams in a mentoring role.
I would say the best quality that Opus brings is its ability to win work and participate in major and complex projects, whilst maintaining its ability to care and develop its employees. Here you are not just treated like a number, and if you have an opinion you are encouraged to put your ideas forward and be part of a team that brings around innovation.
Tom - Graduate Bridge Engineer
As a Graduate Bridge Engineer, I work on capital schemes for Opus’ contract with Hertfordshire County Council, applying Asset Management principles, designing schemes and supervising work on site.
At Opus there’s a great sense of family. I work very closely with the client and other teams within HCC, to co-ordinate bridge maintenance schemes seamlessly and effectively, ensuring minimal disruption while accommodating other works in the county. Communication with our client and stakeholders is key to be able to deliver schemes that reduce highway disruption and keep Hertfordshire moving.
Managers are receptive to my ideas, and push me to seek out innovations and challenge the norm within the industry to find new efficiencies and better engineering practices. I’m also able to do this through my personal development goals, having recently completed NEC Project Management course, allowing me to take real ownership of the delivery of my schemes and develop management skills at a relatively early stage in my career.
"I have been able to take responsibility for my work and collaborate with other teams working towards a common goal in bettering Hertfordshire’s highway network."
Having senior staff and our client integrated within the office creates a transparent atmosphere where staff can freely approach their managers and have an honest conversation about the work in hand. Again, this communication means that we can all come together to reach a common goal in the most efficient and effective way we can.
Nikki - Assistant Engineer (ITP)
Some days I will be out on site taking measurements, other days discussing issues with local residents, and of course I spend time in the office designing a scheme based on data I’ve collected onsite. It's the variety that's the best thing about working in the Integrated Transport Projects and Safety team.
As an Engineering Assistant I work on a variety of highway schemes that can cover improving walking routes to school, providing engineering solutions to allow for school crossing patrols and traffic calming schemes. Though they are all different in their own way, they all possess individual problems that need solving. I enjoy finding a way through them, from feasibility through to delivery, and interacting with local residents who are positively affected by work I have done gives me enormous amounts of job satisfaction.
In ITP we work with a variety of teams across the service, but a huge part of the job is liaising with County Councillors, residents and local schools to help find solutions to problems they may be having with their highway. We always endeavour to find the best solutions because we know we are making a difference to people who live in our area.
It’s great to know, when finding these solutions, that we have the full support of Opus as part of a global organisation. The potential to share knowledge and skills across the company is invaluable not only to schemes Hertford are developing, but for personal development too.