08/09/2021 • Working here
Three first days in three years – my work experience at Mount Anvil
We build homes all around London, but our mission is so much more than that. We’re not only here to create places where people can thrive but also to create opportunities where people can thrive by increasing accessibility and diversity within the industry. Through our Makers & Mentors programme, we open our doors and invite young people to learn from our people, sharing their knowledge and experience, teaching on the job and answering any questions they may have.
We recently caught up with Peter Sotiri over at our Royal Eden Docks scheme in Newham where we’re working in partnership with ExCel London. Peter has been working with us intermittently over the last three years to gain real-life experience while studying at university and we wanted to find out his thoughts on work experience with us!
Hi Peter, how are you finding your time here at Mount Anvil?
It’s going really well, I’ve been back a couple of times, three actually. This will be my third year. I’m really enjoying it here, I like working with the team. Everyone is so helpful, in the office, the different sites, everyone just wants to help and I’m learning so much especially this time around as I’m here for three months.
That’s so nice to hear, so how did you get started here at Mount Anvil?
It was back in 2017, which seems like ages ago now, I was studying at the technical college not far from Royal Eden Docks. As part of our learning, we had a site visit to RED which my college and Mount Anvil arranged – I now know that is part of Mount Anvil’s commitment to supporting the communities it works within and they do this all across London to help with skills growth. We met with the Head of Skills & Employment, they showed us around the site to help us learn about the works happening and ask any questions we had about working on the buildings and plans.
A couple of weeks later Mount Anvil were taking interviews from our college for a placement at Royal Eden Docks, I ended up securing the place – and the rest is history!
And what did you end up doing for that first year?
I started at Keybridge in 2018 for a couple of days where I met the team down there. We then went to the Head Office where I was introduced to each department. I got to spend time with people in different teams to help me understand the company structure and how each department is important to the company goals and building homes. Seeing the works that go on behind the construction scenes such as planning, securing land, marketing and so on.
Funnily enough, I needed help with a pre-construction assignment for my course at the time, so when I had my chat with the Head of Preconstruction, Energy & Sustainability, Mike Valmas, we ended up speaking for nearly two hours. He helped me through my coursework, I learned so much and got top marks in my assignment, which was a great result!
Well done on your top marks. Did that help with you decision to come back for your second year?
Of course! I came back for a second year, regardless of my marks I already hoped to return - this time I spent two weeks on site. I was keen to learn about Revit 3D modelling as I had heard whispers that this would come up in our second year at university, I mentioned this to the team on site and they gave me the opportunity to model the gym, pool and spa for Keybridge House. The team supported me the whole way through the process but also gave me the space to find my feet and get to grips with modelling, it benefited me massively.
I was able to learn the fundamentals of Revit, which helped with my coursework at university and because of my work experience placement with Mount Anvil I was actually quite overqualified for my course and received an unconditional offer from my first choice University.
So, here we are, the third year. How did the third opportunity come about?
I stayed in contact with Tony a lot – our Senior Technical Coordinator – who I met during my very first placement. I reached out to him towards the end of the summer term and he was able to to offer me a placement for the entire summer - from June to September, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the technical department at RED.
What will you be doing this time around?
When I arrived for my first day (if you can call it that) Tony had prepared a comprehensive plan of action for me, taking into consideration what I wanted to develop this time around which includes exposure to industry standard construction detailing. Each week has been something different, I started off by learning in detail about each of the apartment types and the internal packages that revolve around them. And now I’m becoming familiar with the construction details, which I’m really enjoying. Tony has also put together a progress sheet for me to make sure that I'm hitting my learning goals and the criteria set out in the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) Professional and Occupational Performance (POP) record ahead of my next year at university.
I’ve gained a huge amount of practical knowledge that I definitely wouldn’t have had without my time at Mount Anvil over the last few years and having that practical experience alongside my degree will really help me stand out from the crowd when I graduate. I feel so relieved to finally have an opportunity to apply all that I’ve learned at college and university. Tony is so great to work with, a true mentor, I trust nobody more to guide my learning and progression.
We’re so pleased to hear you’re benefiting from your time with us, what will be next for you?
I’d love to come back and work here when I graduate, so we will see what happens next year. With Tony as my supervisor to guide me toward becoming a member of CIAT it would be ideal to resume that chain of progression. Mount Anvil has really helped me gain experience and expand my knowledge within the construction industry. The team have been so supportive, the whole experience has been invaluable.
Our new Makers & Mentors Work Experience programme is here to help young Londoner’s find their feet in the construction industry – if you or someone you know is interested in benefitting from experience like Peter, head over to Makers & Mentors.