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Haripreeth Iyer at Molecular Sciences Building

Haripreeth Iyer - a six month student internship in Birmingham

Three months in to his six month student internship with Morgan Sindall Construction, we sat down with Haripreeth Iyer to hear how he's getting on...

Tell me a bit about you and how you arrived at our Molecular Sciences project

My name is Haripreeth and I'm studying a MSC in civil engineering and management at University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. I'm born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I did my undergraduate there and my family is all settled. My whole education, my whole schooling was done in India.

Why did you decide to travel across the globe to study here?

The reason of pursuing abroad education was to see how the construction domain behaves and functions internationally and to do that I felt like there is no better place than the UK to learn architecture and engineering. I did my bachelors in civil engineering in India, Mumbai and after graduating I was working as a project engineer. However, I felt there were gaps in my knowledge so in order to fulfil this void, I thought of pursuing a masters degree in it. This industry really is a continuous learning curve. You can always grow and you can never run out of things to learn, so I feel like that's why I chose to do a masters and pursue my career in civil engineering.

What’s it like to be part of University of Birmingham?

It's really great to be a part of University of Birmingham. The whole environment is very diverse, multicultural and it's very inclusive. So being a part of this university is always fulfilling and enlightening.

How did you arrive at the opportunity of an internship with Morgan Sindall Construction?

As soon as I got here I saw this project that was under development and I had this interest to do a site visit. Fortunately the senior project manager arranged this for me. He was really very inclusive and supportive and helped a small batch of students to visit. As I’d been driving the organisation of the visits, he recommended me for the internship.

Molecular Sciences Building project - May 2022

Tell me about the internship and what it involves?

So, I’m seconded for six months, and work under a paid placement for 15 hours a week on the Molecular Science project. This is spread across three days (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) so that I can work it around my studies. In order to understand different elements that are involved in construction, my internship helped me to see how the elements behave in the way I learned in my course. It’s been designed to help me understand the responsibilities of different departments. Because of this, the practical knowledge that was being taught to me has really complimented the theory from the University. So, I feel like strategically, with the help of Jeremy Rogers, I have understood all the things that I'm studying in the university and bridged that gap between theory and practical.

How has the internship been so far?

It's been really, really positive and it’s been very inclusive. The way everyone has opened the doors of opportunity to me, it's very heart-warming. I feel it's very encouraging, so I never hesitate to ask anything. I never hesitate to put forward my opinions and my thoughts. So I feel like when you get that inclusiveness in an environment, your confidence and the way you approach people is very open, and it's very natural. I’m really happy and the entire team has been so helpful. Even to the point of if I have a lot of University work, they are very flexible around my timetable.

What sort of tasks have you undertaken so far?

Initially I was I was assigned with the site management team in order to understand how the temporary works are undertaken. I’ve also worked with the quality inspection team, as well as the external façade and internal services teams too. So, I’ve had quite a diverse experience already! So really my task was to understand all these elements and how everyone is interlinking or revolving in the environment. It’s really benefitting my all-round development instead of just focusing on one element of the industry. It makes you more curious about things and like I said earlier, there’s no restriction on how much you can learn in this domain.

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Haripreeth on site at Molecular Sciences Building project

How has the time here impacted you?

I feel like my learning trajectory has been really fulfilling. All the communication that I'm having with people is the most exciting thing in this part of the internship. Book knowledge is always necessary and that will help you to understand things, but when you communicate with people, you take their personal experience and insights with you, which is invaluable.

It's really good to have a new piece of infrastructure within the campus itself and given this is a molecular science project that Morgan Sindall is constructing, I feel like understanding the significance and the importance of the project is really key. It’s a fantastic opportunity since I'm in the university itself, so for me I feel like this is the closest and easily accessible way of understanding the construction domain, and I'm making the most of it.

If you get that kind of exposure, there’s nothing like it, so it’s a really great start for me. I feel like I've learned to polish my skills more closely. Everyone has a short term goal to work on and a long term goal to work on. This internship has helped me to work on my short term goals to polish my skills and improve my understanding about UK infrastructure and construction. And Morgan Sindall is really helping me do that.

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Where would you like to see yourself in ten years time?

In 10 years time I see myself either in design, in project management or in sustainability roles, so that I can always be, like my professor says, ‘the engineer with a capital E’ – meaning that I take up the responsibilities and offer everything the client is looking for. I also think that in ten years I’ll still be on a learning trajectory.

I feel like the inner student in me will always look forward to learning things and so will be alive when I get these kind of opportunities. So I want to keep him alive – so even after these opportunities, I’m always happy to be a learner first. The internship has made me feel very energetic about things, very happy about the future, so I’m really looking forward to all the things that will be unwinding in this course of my journey. I’m excited for what it to come!

This industry has a lot to offer. And there are so many diverse opportunities. Each provides a new domain or trajectory of learning every time you take on a new project. The industry is very welcoming as well, and if you have the passion, I would say don’t think so much, give it a go and maybe you’ll hit what you are looking for. Explore, and follow your heart, have your intentions in the right place and it will click.