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Q&A with Infrastructure Trainee Imogen Snowden

May 20, 2021

It’s been over two months since trainee Imogen Snowden joined MBB Group to start an eight-month placement, as part of the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Traineeships program.

We catch up with her and discuss how she’s found the experience so far, what she’s learnt and her plans for the future.

What attracted you to the NSW Infrastructure Traineeship?

I initially started studying for a full-time university degree, but very quickly realised it wasn’t for me. I’m definitely an active learner and enjoy ‘doing’ and experiencing things, so working on real-life projects appealed much more. Also, the fact that I’d be getting paid rather than taking on student debt was another attraction!

Why Infrastructure?

I didn’t know too much about the infrastructure sector before, but it’s really exciting to be involved in building new things that make a difference to people’s lives and communities.

The program is designed to give a full understanding of the whole project lifecycle, from planning to delivery. What type of projects have you worked on so far and what have you found most interesting?

So far, I’ve mainly been working with the energy team and on education infrastructure projects.

I’ve been helping to analyse data sets for Renewable Energy Zones and researching upcoming construction projects, to understand the massive pipeline of infrastructure investment. I’m looking forward to supporting them in the market engagement process next.

With the social infrastructure team, I’ve been working on several school redevelopment projects, attending focus groups and workshops and helping to compile Risk Registers – luckily, I love spreadsheets!

MBB work on a lot of major road and rail projects, I’m keen to learn more about the transaction management and delivery processes in this sector.

Is it difficult juggling study with work? 

I have quite a long commute to work, so it can be a long day, but I’m really enjoying the experience so far. There’s a day a week dedicated to study, so it feels like a pretty good balance.

What support and mentoring do you receive?

I have an allocated buddy at MBB who has helped me settle in here and get up to speed on everything. It’s my first time working in an office, so everything is new to me, but I’ve had lots of help and support.

What happens after the eight-month placement with MBB?

I’ll move onto work for another employer, like a government agency or a contractor. It will be interesting to see the other side and the different roles they play in the process.

At the end of the two-year traineeship, you’ll have a nationally recognised qualification in Project Management Practice. What are your plans for after you’ve completed the traineeship?

Hopefully, it will open up some permanent job opportunities for me. I’d like to find a full-time role in project management or maybe get onto a grad scheme.

The traineeship is designed to create employment opportunities for young people in the infrastructure industry. What advice would you give to any school leavers considering a traineeship?

I think school leavers have lots of valuable skills to bring to the workplace. I’d definitely encourage anyone to explore this kind of option as an alternative to uni. There are so many different infrastructure careers as well, it opens up a lot of opportunities.

MBB is proud to play our part in supporting young people in the NSW Government’s first cross-industry Infrastructure Traineeships program. Offering hands on experience in Business, Project Management Practice and Procurement and Contracting, these traineeships are designed to help a new era of professionals in the infrastructure industry and support the NSW Premier’s Priorities to deliver a world class public service, breaking the cycle of disadvantage by leveraging the five-year infrastructure pipeline to create employment opportunities.

For more information about the program visit https://education.nsw.gov.au/infrastructure-traineeships