My Stantec Story: Cooking up opportunities with Henry Powell-Davies
May 11, 2022
May 11, 2022
Henry, graduate data analyst, shares how secondments, mentoring, and employee groups have helped him build an invigorating role at Stantec
In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.
I primarily work in the wastewater sector, and my role involves providing analytical and strategic support to clients around data visualisation and automation. Mostly, I work to improve asset and network resilience for the water sector in Glasgow.
As a global company with clear values that support both its employees and clients, I felt strongly that the focus of putting people first would provide me with opportunities for both personal and professional growth as a graduate—chartership, expanding my network, and furthering my knowledge and skills. Plus, with my interest in big data and its impact on our global infrastructure, the work that Stantec does in net zero and environmental infrastructure were of particular interest to me.
Stantec prides itself on having a supportive and inclusive culture. This has been clear from the strong relationships I’ve been able to foster with other employees as well as the clients we work with. Having a buddy to provide support helped me feel secure and welcomed into the business and able to ask any questions. This was especially helpful as I started during the COVID-19 pandemic and was primarily working from home.
On top of that, Stantec recently launched the UK Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) council to create a safe and open space for everyone in the business to provide insights and ideas for how we can develop approaches to enabling a strong ethos of I&D. This has further highlighted the welcoming atmosphere that working at Stantec provides, as everyone you meet is friendly and always happy to help.
How has your personal and professional development been supported at Stantec?
Through the Developing Professionals Group (DPG) and time in the office, I’ve been able to develop strong relationships with other graduates, learning more about their experiences and roles, and allowing me to gain a real sense of belonging to the wider Stantec community. This has also enabled many opportunities for me to contribute to the wider business.
Plus, having a dedicated mentor through the Graduate Programme who supported my route to chartership with Chartered Institute of Waste and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has been brilliant. The programme provided opportunities for me to discuss how the work I do can be applied to core competencies which enable me to demonstrate the necessary skills and understanding to become chartered.
Having a dedicated mentor through the Graduate Programme who supported my route to chartership with Chartered Institute of Waste and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has been brilliant.
Since starting, I’ve primarily been on a secondment at Southern Water, working within their Proactive Analytics Centre to provide data analytics and business strategic support around asset resilience. Working in this team for the past eight months has allowed me to develop a close relationship with an important client and to see a project from its initial development through to deployment.
Enabling a positive business strategy change and network digitisation for the client has been very fulfilling as I’ve developed a strong understanding of the issues the client faces on a regular basis. Being involved with all project stages has been greatly beneficial, and I’ve developed a strong working knowledge of different systems and further developed personal qualities including attention to detail, critical thinking, and stakeholder management.
The great thing about progressing your career at Stantec is the variety of available opportunities. As a graduate, the Global Career Framework (GCF) provides far-reaching possibilities for growth within your business group and into other sectors. I would like to continue working with the I&D council as it’s something I’m very passionate about and, having chaired one of the recent monthly meetings, I can already see the benefits it provides to the company.
Through the Graduate Programme, I hope to gain my CIWEM chartership. Looking further ahead, I want to move into a management role where I’m involved with a range of projects, seeking to enable organisational change for both Stantec and our clients, upholding our core values of excellence, and being people-focused in everything that we do.
Outside of work, I enjoy all things food—learning different cuisines, trying new foods, and cooking a lot at home. I’m very creative in the kitchen and like to explore new dishes, whether those be savoury or sweet, but there’s no intention of applying to MasterChef…yet! Also, my partner and I have a West Highland Terrier called Flora who we enjoy taking for long walks and playing with.
Given my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in chemistry, I’m very much still interested in the subject and run a podcast—ChemConvos—where I interview different guests in the chemistry and wider science community about their lives and careers. My goal? To inspire young people and others to be interested in a career in STEM. On the weekends, I tutor young people in GCSE and A-Level Chemistry, supporting them in their goals for university and beyond.
One major reason would be how the business affords everyone—from graduates to established professionals—a wealth of fulfilling opportunities for both personal and professional growth. One opportunity of note has been the Enginuity competition, a business strategy simulation which places graduates into teams to develop their business acumen and understanding of all aspects of business from marketing to finance and project management.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far with Stantec and look forward to developing my career here, seeking to enable positive tangible changes and making a lasting impact on both the business and our clients.
At Stantec, we put people first, and for Henry that means a broad spectrum of opportunities, from client partnership to mentorship to leading inclusion and diversity initiatives. If you want to start your career at Stantec, visit Graduates & Apprentices to find out more.