Testimonial: Sam Platten

Apprentice Project Manager, Jacobs Engineering Group

I was studying for a Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment qualification at City College Norwich when I attended Constructionarium in 2017 during the second year of my course.

Our team took on the Kingsgate Bridge project and we spent several weeks at college preparing for our visit including testing concrete mixes and learning about steel fixing. Kier were the contractors supporting our project and they visited us at college before we got on site.

Although I had been on plenty of site visits, I had no real, practical experience of construction and Constructionarium was the first time I actually worked on a site. The week I spent at Bircham Newton definitely affected my career career choices, I had previously wanted to be an architect but Constructionarium helped me realise that I prefer being part of the action and seeing projects being built rather than being stuck in an office.

I would 100% recommend Constructionarium to other students, it was a fantastic experience and really helped me when interviewing for jobs. When I was asked to talk about a time when I overcame a problem I had plenty of real life examples from Constructionarium including the time the concrete delivery arrived too wet and I had to make the decision to hold off using it until it was remixed.

I learnt so much during my Constructionarium experience, including things which I already knew in theory but were made so much more real by being on site. The importance of measuring and setting out was one of these things – a small error left our formwork a few mm’s out and some last minute ‘trimming’ was required to ensure our bridge met in the middle!

I believe my experience was one of the reasons I was successful in my application to Jacobs Engineering to become an Apprentice Project Manager where I was able to work on site every day and I’ve since been promoted to Assistant Project Manager working with the rail team.