Kirby has been successfully running its graduate programme since 2015. To focus more on the engineering aspect, it decided to launch a specialised Electrical Graduate Engineering Programme in 2021.
This month marks a significant milestone for Alexander as he graduates from the new specialist programme. The occasion was marked by the presentation of his certificate of completion by his mentor Damien Brennan, in front of proud colleagues who wanted to celebrate this tremendous achievement.
In this #PeopleFirst we speak to him about his experiences and ask his advice for graduates looking to the schemes on offer next year.
Alexander joined Kirby after completing a Masters degree in Sustainable Energy at Trinity College, Dublin. He’d already studied for a degree in Engineering in Nigeria, working for a telecoms company after graduation. Part of his role was the introduction of solar, replacing diesel generators on sites and in offices. That was the spark that ignited his interest in sustainable energy.
He moved to Dublin in 2019 to study, and on completion of his Masters was approached for a role on one of Kirby’s biggest sites in Ireland, as part of the graduate programme.
“It was shortly after I joined that Kirby Electrical Engineering Manager Amy Lane launched the specialist electrical engineering programme. It was well organised, with placements in every enabling department. I was incredibly lucky.
“For me making those connections and seeing how everyone works together to deliver a project was very valuable. I am on site now, but I have relationships across the teams, meaning I have an awareness of all of the pieces of the puzzle, and I can reach out to my connections if I need help and support.”
One of the first sessions Alexander had was ‘The Kirby Way’ training. “The Kirby Way is international best practice. It gives a consistent and detailed account of the way we deliver projects. Working on site it means we have key information at our fingertips instantly, and where new legislation or standards are introduced, experts from across Kirby work to have guidance included in the Kirby Way almost immediately. I am continually impressed by this and the support for the site teams.”
He was one of an elite team working on the preconstruction of a design and build project in Grangecastle, Dublin.
“To be around the table with leaders and experts as we took the project from design – at RIBA Stage 3 – to start on site was an experience like no other. To get the best value for the client, we held project reviews with expert teams from across the business. Thinking outside of the box, we achieved the best programme and cost we could. To have been invited into that room to listen and learn from true experts was inspiring,” he says.
In preparation for his placement on site, he worked on a project in Sweden. Covid-19 and visa restrictions meant that he supported the Swedish project team virtually. “It was a great opportunity to see Kirby deliver internationally, shadowing and supporting team members across the project.”
Alexander now has a key role in delivering the electrical lighting protection package on our data centre project in Grangecastle, a project that he supported on in preconstruction. He works across two buildings, while working with the main contractor on clarity and drawings, ensuring his package meets the client’s requirements and budget.
“I work to the Kirby Way, with benchmarking, ensuring technical submissions are approved, and that materials are of the right standard,” he adds.
Now an Electrical Project Engineer, Alexander is looking to the future. “My priority is to get better day by day in what I am doing. I know that Kirby would give me the opportunity to widen my horizon, move to other disciplines if I wanted, to upskill and become a specialist. For me the best part of my job is being able to add value and be part of the solution to challenges.”
He says to people considering their next steps after their degree: “Kirby’s graduate programme is a great one. You have the opportunity to work to the Kirby Way, our processes, and to understand the tools we use. The programme also gives you an opportunity to find out where you fit and move to different fields, if you want to. It takes you through all the departments and allows you to network with everyone in the company. I would highly recommend it.”
Kirby’s mechanical and electrical graduate programmes are now open for applications. Go to careers.kirbygroup.com to find out more.