Tuesday August 2, 2022
Cawarden is committed to providing work experience opportunities for young people from all walks of life. So when the opportunity arose to work with Nottingham Trent University as part of their Productivity Through Innovation (PTI) scheme, Cawarden jumped at the chance.
The project has given one young graduate 12 months of paid real-world work experience. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), qualifying businesses are given a grant to fund 20% of the graduate’s salary alongside support in the recruitment process to find the best and most suitable candidate to join the business.
Not only is the scheme helping graduates, but it’s also improving business productivity and market competitiveness – the key to economic growth.
Fast forward eight months, Moira Barcenilla, Group Marketing Officer, and Emma Attwood, Group Marketing & Communications Manager, chat about and reflect on Moira’s time to date at the Derby-based specialist contractor.
EA: To kick things off, please tell us a little about yourself
MB: I’m an architecture graduate from Nottingham Trent University. I originally signed up for the NTU Graduate Internship scheme back in 2021 and, with a lot of luck, I found myself with an opportunity to work at Cawarden for 12 months.
EA: What drew you to Cawarden? And why demolition having studied architecture for three years?
MB: Architecture will always be something that ignites my curiosity and I will continue to strive towards it. I wanted to have a short break and learn about something totally different, although, the more I learn, the more I realise that architecture and demolition are actually quite closely linked.
The Cawarden Marketing Officer job description sounded like a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience in a new discipline while also getting an insight into the demolition sector. I was keen, intrigued and ready to start a new learning journey.
EA: What has it been like working in the marketing department at Cawarden?
MB: Working at Cawarden has exposed me to an industry that I had very little, if any, knowledge about previously. It’s been stimulating both intellectually and creatively. I’ve found that every time I have a little read through a case study or hear about a project and stories on site, there’s always something that’ll surprise me.
I’ve been involved in all aspects of marketing including video production and design projects, presentations, website updates, site photography and helping to run the social media channels and coming up with fresh content ideas.
EA: What have been key highlights so far?
MB: A highlight for me has definitely been being able to tag along to site visits. I’ve seen some amazing projects spanning a wide variety of sectors. It’s been particularly interesting learning about the processes of demolition and dismantling. It’s also been very inspiring to speak to different members of staff who have climbed up the Cawarden ladder through hard work and perseverance. Everyone I’ve been introduced to has been so kind and welcoming.
EA: We work remotely most of the time, how have you found this?
MB: For me, even though I work remotely, for the most part, I’ve always felt involved. I have you, mostly, to thank for being the one to bring me into the business, for welcoming me at the beginning and for continuing to make sure that I’m handling everything well.
EA: What have you found most interesting about working in marketing in the demolition sector?
MB: To name one thing, would be a visit to a site in Derby when you were on annual leave and I was assisting our drone company, Skylapse, for the morning.
Despite being nervous at first, for the unfamiliar environment, everyone was more than helpful and we managed to get some incredible aerial shots of the site. I was even told some stories by the site manager Steve about what the site would have been, as well as how the project was approached in terms of the demolition methodology. I’d also never seen a crane up close before, so that was interesting. I even made a video diary of the day.
EA: What have you learned during your time at Cawarden?
MB: No matter what your job role is, there will always be different factors that could affect a deadline; a final deadline is not always final, whether it is pushed back or forward. I’ve learned that the professional world requires a lot of adapting and initiative.
EA: Would you say the placement with us has benefitted you?
MB: From the very beginning, I’ve been presented with countless opportunities that I’d never expected. Signing up for the placement scheme was my way of trying to expand my horizons and be more productive for myself, as my graduation had coincided with the lockdown.
Not only has Cawarden been accommodating and kind, but my original career choice has always been considered and we’ve found ways to keep my interest in architecture alive.
EA: So would you say the placement has helped you in your career?
MB: Yes, ironically, my original career choice was the opposite of demolition. With that in mind, working within the demolition industry has given me a different perspective. There are things that I wouldn’t have taken into consideration had it not been for this placement opportunity and I’ve learned a lot about the circular economy. Through the way I’ve been allowed to explore and build on the skills I’d gained from my course, and through projects I’ve been able to take part in, this placement has helped me in more ways than I imagined.
EA: Would you recommend a placement within the demolition sector to other students or graduates?
MB: Yes, even if your goal is not demolition there are so many things to learn from a placement with Cawarden. This is not necessarily just from the role you will be doing, but also from the people who have been in the industry and have a lot to show for it. From my experience, the Cawarden Family will take care of you.
EA: So what’s next when you complete your placement with Cawarden at the end of the year?
MB: I think my next step will be to get back into the architectural world with the new perspectives and the confidence that this placement has given me.
EA: Thanks, Moira. It’s an absolute pleasure working with you and having you on the marketing team. You are a real asset to the team and business as a whole.
This article was originally featured in the August issue of Demolition Hub magazine