Edward Brown

Edward Brown

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

The company I am currently working for is 'PAYE Stonework'. The company themselves are involved in a multitude of differing projects. These projects range from stone restoration works, for example at the Mithras Temple, to constructing multi-storey office facades in new stonework cladding.

What is your role within the company?

My job title has remained the same throughout my time at PAYE but the roles I have had within the company have differed depending on which project I was involved with. For example, the first site I was based at was a façade rebuild project where the company was involved with installing new stone cladding units onto the face of the building. During my time on this project my role was much more active within the site, i.e. it had a lot to do with the setting out for the stonework and relating the drawings given to us onto the actual face they were to be built upon. Whereas once this project was winding down I was moved to a dismantle project involving the removal of heritage stones with minimal damage so they could be reinstalled at a later date. During my time on this project my role was more office based as I was tasked with producing a detailed folder on the dismantle works that would eventually be presented to the client.

Can you give me an insight into a typical day?

As I previously mentioned above a typical day will vary greatly depending upon which project I was involved with at the time. Common daily aspects/ jobs that translated throughout projects were the production and implication of the safety documentation, such as producing and explaining RAMS (Risk Assessments and Method Statements), daily activity briefings and toolbox talks. All of which had to be to the required standard and I would have to explain to the workers we had on site what the documents entailed before they signed them. Once these were completed the rest of my day either followed the first set of activities outlined in the point above or the second set depending on the style of project I was involved with.

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

I believe the aspect I enjoyed the most about my placement was when I worked on the façade rebuild project and became in involved in the setting out. This was very different to the other work I did and was very active which I liked about it. It also related well to my course as I would be using a laser level and would be sketching detailed design aspects to send back to our designer. I believe that all the projects I have worked on have been very varied and interesting projects, currently I have been involved with the following 4:

  • Epworth House

  • The Old War Office

  • Knightsbridge Station

  • 1-3 Grosvenor Square

The history the buildings in question and the large scale building works that I was able to see first-hand made these projects a very interesting experience to oversee.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

Initially the main reason for me undertaking a year in industry was so that upon completing my degree I would look a more attractive prospect to any potential employers' by having a year’s work experience under my belt. There were other aspects as well which I have realised are more important than the reason mentioned above, for example finding out what career path I want to go down when I finish university. 

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far? 

The main aspect I will take away from this year is that once I finish university I will not look to apply for a job in contracting. While I have enjoyed my year at PAYE I cannot see myself working as a manager for a contractor once I have graduated, and without doing this placement I would not have known that. Secondly I believe I have developed so many skills this year, more so than if had not done a year industry, these range from leadership and management skills (of which I had little past experience) to simply gaining more confidence in myself.

Do you have any tips and advice for current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

My advice to any students looking to undertake a year in industry would be to go for it. My main advice would be to pick a placement that you would enjoy and not just do a placement for the sake of doing a placement, and if you're unsure whether you would enjoy a placement just ask if you can do a summer placement instead of a full year.