We spoke to Monica McCabe about her experience in the engineering industry. Monica is a mechanical engineering student, who works part time as a site support trainee at Ardmac.  

How did you become interested in Engineering? 

My interest in Engineering came from the subjects I enjoyed at school: math’s and science. The problem-solving aspect in math class and the teamwork involved in solving new equations just made it very fun. It was during my gap year, when I was visiting countries with important features like the Hoover Dam in Nevada and seeing the mechanisms involved with its construction, through to its use, that I knew I wanted to do something within engineering. Understanding the way things work and their capabilities was something I enjoyed, and it encouraged me to pursue mechanical engineering. 

What does your day-to-day role involve? 

I am currently a student of mechanical engineering in college, and I work part time with Ardmac. My role changes on a day-to-day basis but learning different areas of the process is always encouraged by my managers.  

What is your favourite part of your role? 

I enjoy visiting sites and seeing all the works during pre-construction being implemented in front of you. 

What challenges do you face in your role? How do you overcome them? 

My current challenge is learning the basics of engineering within a job setting. I have been taking engineering modules in school and university for most of my life, the challenge now is the process of design and construction. I overcome these challenges by communicating with my colleagues and learning through them and their guidance. 

How does Ardmac support you in your career? 

Ardmac took me on whilst I was studying for a bachelor’s and now a master’s in engineering. They have always encouraged me to continue to learn in college and whatever experience I may need to better my learning they would implement it within my roles. Throughout my time here I am continuously asked what areas of the business I am interested in, and what training I would like to be involved in. Ardmac are extremely supportive when it comes to improving your skills, in whatever area that may be. 

What would be your advice to those thinking of a career in Engineering? 

To do it. There are a lot of great opportunities within engineering, and it opens you up to many experiences. Working in teams and building strong relationships is something everyone wants. No matter the specialism; an engineering background helps you appreciate everything that is around you and encourages you to find out more.  

Why are days like International Women in Engineering Day, important? 

Days like International Women in Engineering Day can help women build confidence to apply for roles in what used to be perceived as ‘male’ industries, and celebrates their success at breaking stereotypes! 

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