News & Media

Graduate Engineer returns to BWB after lending support to the NHS during the pandemic

17 June 2022

BWB’s London office recently welcomed Graduate Engineer Gizem Karacam to the Advance team. Gizem finished her studies in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequently spent her time working for the NHS Test and Trace team, playing a vital role in supporting the community during the pandemic. 

As she transitions back into engineering, we caught up with her to discuss her experience. 

How did Covid impact the end of your studies?

The pandemic hit just before my final year, and whilst it was a challenge to adapt to online learning there is always a silver lining in everything. As commuting times were cut and resources were becoming available online, it was just a matter of adapting and organising your time well. Although, for my last year project, it was a laboratory-based experiment, which initially made it very difficult to make any progress, but luckily this was not a major constraint as the data we had produced previously was more than enough to change the direction of the paper without too much hassle.

How was working for the NHS during the pandemic?

Working for the NHS during the pandemic was an emotional rollercoaster. Witnessing vulnerable people daily was quite intense at first. The lack of knowledge surrounding Covid really seemed to alarm people and you could see it. 

Every job has its difficulties, the main one when working for the NHS was trying to tackle catching Covid on site, not only for ourselves but for our families and customers that we encountered.

What skills from your previous work do you feel translate the most to your new position at BWB?  

I would say working in a team was one of the main aspects of my last job. Any challenges which were faced or if any one of the team needed help, collectively we would all make sure to help one another. I believe working together in a team can sometimes be hard as everyone has a different work ethic, but it is important to communicate professionally.

What do you see as your biggest challenge when transitioning back into engineering?

The biggest challenge I had imagined when transitioning back into engineering was to be thrown into the industry with no support. As a new graduate, I think the main point of concern for most graduates is the lack of experience. I say this because at university, everything is based on theory and no matter how much support you are provided it is not the same as experiencing it first-hand. However, the transition back to engineering has been smooth so far and I’ve been enjoying working on real-life projects whilst having a great amount of support.

What are your first impressions of working at BWB?

I am really enjoying my time at BWB. The company has ensured that everyone is aware of where to seek help through various meet and greets with all different departments. It has also been very useful in the sense of meeting the whole team with who does what and has been a very warm welcome.