Work Experience Blog

Welcome to our work experience blog!

In June we had the pleasure of hosting two students from Tomlinscote School. They immersed themselves in various aspects of the construction industry, gaining hands-on experience and valuable insights. The following blog, written by Andrew, describes his experience spending a week with our team at Mindenhurst.


Entering the office on Monday felt nerve-wracking as it was a completely new environment however, I was warmly welcomed by the team. Carianne gave an induction to Mindenhurst, covering topics like health and safety, plans, and different work sectors. Niki explained my tasks for the week and discussed interviewing members of the team and techniques to do this. She even had me practice by interviewing her, which was both fun and exciting despite my initial nervousness.

In the afternoon, I met Hannah O’Kelly, an Environmental and Sustainability Advisor. She discussed plans for St Barbara’s Church and showed me a bird’s-eye view picture indicating tree locations. We talked about tree grading and project planning, which was very informative.

Hannah then took me to the church site where I wore PPE for health and safety. She pointed out areas like badger habitats and how they manage Japanese Knotweed growth. At the church, she explained ongoing work and future plans while discussing drainage systems and tree protection with other site workers. Learning about Hannah’s job was particularly enjoyable as it introduced me to aspects of environmental sustainability that I hadn’t encountered before.



We started with a tour of the Mindenhurst site with Mati, a Project Manager. He explained the development process and future plans for the area, showcasing the ambition and capabilities of The Mindenhurst Project. Mati also discussed drainage systems and how rainwater is managed to ensure silt settles before entering the Basingstoke Canal. This highlighted the complexity of planning and managing construction projects.

Later, we joined Oliver Connells’ construction team for hands-on experience in bricklaying. Using trowels and levellers, we learned how to lay bricks properly, offering valuable insight into practical aspects of construction.

In the afternoon, I met Mike Thorpe, a senior project planner. He demonstrated how he uses graphs to plan projects and track timing. I was given a task to order various project activities while considering their durations. Through this exercise, I learned about different internal services (lighting, air vents, security alarms) and steps in building construction. This task required thoughtful planning as mistakes could lead to financial losses or project delays. Despite its challenges, I enjoyed it as it provided a deeper understanding of project management.


In the morning, I met Ryan from Graduate Landscape and his team. They took me and James on a walk around their site, showing us the paths they’ve constructed and sharing their future plans for the area. It was a great experience learning about path construction and getting to know their friendly team.

They then introduced us to various tools and machinery. We helped to secure pieces of wood and hammered in pins. Ryan also showed us the controls inside excavators, rollers, and forklifts, explaining their safety features like protective cages and bars. Although we couldn’t operate the machines due to health and safety regulations, it was an exciting hands-on experience.

In the afternoon, I met Mary Kinsella, a Senior Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Advisor. She explained her role in managing risks and hazards on construction sites, focusing on worker wellbeing. We watched a video to identify health and safety issues, discussed consequences for breaking regulations (talking to, yellow card, red card), and went through my observations together. This session emphasised the importance of safety in construction and highlighted Mary’s dedication to worker wellbeing.


Mike Collier, a Project Manager, took James and me around his site and explained the planning involved in road construction. We learned about installing drains and the process of making roads while stressing the importance of avoiding damage to water pipes, gas pipes, or electrical wiring.

Later, I met Hiten Meghani, a Technical Assurance Manager. He showed us designs for roads and the Mindenhurst area before taking us on a drive to see a Copenhagen crossing which is a pedestrian-friendly crossing designed to ensure safety. This was fascinating as it highlighted the intricate details involved in road design that I wouldn’t have known without seeing these designs.


On Friday morning, we spent time with the Graduate Landscape team working in the Southern SANG. We continued learning about their projects and assisting with various tasks, gaining more hands-on experience in landscape construction.

After lunch, Emily Law from the Emerging Talent Team gave us a talk about different careers in construction. She explained various entry routes such as apprenticeships, internships, and their graduate programme. This session was very informative and highlighted many opportunities within the industry.

In the afternoon, we presented to the Mindenhurst team. We showcased all the activities we participated in during the week and shared our overall experience. It was a great way to reflect on everything we learned and say thank you to the team for this opportunity.

Overall Experience

Although I felt nervous entering a work environment, the Mindenhurst team made me feel welcome and were very friendly. This experience has helped me understand the construction industry, and I have had so many exciting opportunities that I am very happy to have experienced. From interviewing the team, to going out and learning more about the history of Deepcut/Mindenhurst, to being able to do some hands-on work like bricklaying and path construction. This has definitely improved my confidence, and I got to meet many new people. I have learned a lot about different sectors/jobs in the construction industry, which has opened my mind to other job possibilities. This is an excellent opportunity for future students, as everyone at Mindenhurst is friendly and eager to educate and connect with you.

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