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My Cadet Perspective: Pumped for work experience with Ben Martin

December 15, 2022

Learn about Ben’s daily journey as he builds his knowledge and strengthens his engineering skills through wastewater pumping station design

Stantec in New Zealand (NZ) pays cadets to work for the Company as well as paying their student fees, meaning graduates come out debt free, work-ready, and qualified.

Ben’s currently a cadet in our Dunedin office. By working at Stantec while he studies toward a bachelor of engineering technology at Otago Polytechnic, Ben is gaining hands-on civil engineering experience—site visits and all—while achieving his qualification.

Read Ben’s My Cadet Perspective story below for a sneak peek into life as a Stantec cadet. Feeling inspired? Come join us!

6:30 AM

Mostly, I wake up around this time, but sometimes I indulge in the occasional sleep-in. If the weather is good, I’ll usually have a cup of tea or coffee outside on the deck before I get ready. After an hour or so, I head to work on my bike—my ride to the office is one of my favourite parts of the day.

8:00 AM

I enjoy starting work earlier because it usually means I can head home earlier! Once I sit down at my desk I check emails, reply to messages, and review my to-do list to prioritise what I need to do for the day. One of the largest parts of my job is CAD (Computer-Aided Design), so I spend the quiet part of the morning drawing up plans and designs for different projects.

Ben works on technical drawings for a pipeline.

9:00 AM

The office is looking busier, so I use this time to catch up with my team, discuss project progress, and divide the work amongst ourselves. Currently, my focus is on the design of a renewal for a wastewater pumping station. This involves creating drawings with AutoCAD for the project, coordinating with other engineers, and making edits to the drawings based on their feedback.

Ben and his workmate Grace Beatson review changes to detailed drawings and plans for a design proposal.

10:00 AM

Morning tea break. It's of the most important times in our office. Our receptionist supplies biscuits every morning and a good portion of the team comes in to have a cup of tea, catch up, and do the morning quiz—starting every day at 10:06 AM sharp. It’s a great time to have a laugh with the team.

Ben (middle) with colleagues Grace Beatson and Sean O’Brien doing the daily quiz at morning tea.

11:00 AM

Off to a site visit today. I'm supervising the construction of a new water main pipeline in a town just outside the city. A senior engineer from Stantec and I meet with the contractors on-site—he acts as my mentor for site visits and teaches me about the different aspects of construction and pipeline design. Today’s visit is only a quick check-up on a drilling rig, but we’ve previously spent almost an entire day out here doing pressure testing of pipes, chlorination, and general site supervision.

Sean O'Brien and Ben get ready to meet a senior Stantec engineer onsite.

12:30 PM

Arriving back in the office, I gather up a few workmates for lunch. Sometimes we head out to a local cafe or restaurant in the city centre, but today it’s lunch I packed the night before.

1:30 PM

After lunch, I sometimes take the time to chat about my polytech work with colleagues. There are around 75 people in our office, with many different disciplines and career stages, so I find it incredibly helpful to ask questions about polytech content or assignments that I’m struggling with. This is probably one of the best parts of cadetship—you have a wealth of knowledge in the form of people who are always willing to help you out. After a brief discussion, I get back to doing some drawing.

There are around 75 people in my office, with many different disciplines and career stages and it’s incredibly helpful to ask questions about assignments that I’m struggling with at polytech.

2:45 PM

Today I have a two-hour afternoon class at Otago Polytechnic, which I take study leave for. I pack up and bike down to the engineering block to make the 3:00 PM class.

5:20 PM

After biking home in hot weather, I’m ready for a shower. I relax for a while before cracking into some study. Later, my partner and I have dinner and wind down with some board games.

10:30 PM

I’m getting tired, and I like to have a decent amount of sleep, so I get ready for bed. I’ve got another class to attend tomorrow as well as a team meeting—I pack my bag tonight to ensure a stress-free start to my busy day.

If you want to learn more about how to join Stantec as a cadet, study as you work, and graduate with career prospects and a work-life balance like Ben’s, visit our Students & Graduates page.


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