How did JBA graduates adapt to working through the pandemic?

Moving into a new career is never easy and with unprecedented challenges and new ways of working, 2020 was a year many of our Graduates will never forget. 

The impact of COVID-19 was felt by business around the world and the challenge of adapting to working and living under government restrictions is something nobody could have prepared for. 

At the time of the first UK lockdown many of our colleagues had only recently joined the JBA Graduate Scheme, and over the course of 2020 a total of 58 new graduates started their careers with us. During this time the way we welcomed graduates had to change, the way we incorporated graduates into our teams had to change and most importantly the way we worked had to change.  

Thankfully, unlike so many other businesses we were able to continue working throughout the pandemic, however we were forced to adopt a much more flexible approach. As projects continued to come in, our teams had to adapt to working from home and with so much uncertainty in the air we wanted to make this transition as smooth as possible. From weekly Directors updates and business summaries to new guidance on effectively working from home and even virtual team meetings and social events to keep our teams connected, the ‘new normal’ began to take shape.

“I joined JBA as a Graduate Civil Engineer in February 2021. Starting my professional career during a pandemic has been challenging but from day one I have been given a lot of support. From guidance on how to organise my home office to answering all the questions about agile working, my JBA colleagues have been helpful, accommodating and made me feel part of the team. Currently I am involved in the South East Debris Screens project where I get to apply my knowledge and learn new skills on a daily basis. Even though my job is carried out mostly from home, it involves a lot of collaboration with professionals from across the company. While I am looking forward to meeting my colleagues in person in the near future, working from home has been a positive experience.”

Klaudia Mularska, Graduate Civil Engineer

The key to getting the most out of the Graduate Scheme remains absorbing as much knowledge and experience from colleagues across as possible and with restrictions now easing, we’re delighted to be welcoming our graduates and early career staff back into our offices on a more permanent basis.

“I joined JBA in September 2020 as a Software Developer in the Saltaire office, and was enrolled onto the Graduate Scheme. Lockdown 2.0 hadn’t quite hit, so I was welcomed to a semi-busy office and a warm, accommodating working environment full of people happy to see each other again. Getting to know people was an easy process, with many taking the time to introduce themselves and ask how I was settling in. Despite flicking between office work and working from home in the year that followed, I always felt included in JBA life, with plenty of project work being offered up to me. I am now fully focussed on the Maintaining the Risk of Flooding for Surface Water project, and am enjoying both the ability to constantly learn, and the greater level of responsibility being given to me as time goes by. My first year at JBA has been both busy and rewarding, and I am looking forward to everyone being in the office again.”

Martin Eglin, Software Developer

With working life starting to edge back to normality we’re already enjoying being able to spend time with colleagues old and new. Welcoming the graduates back who joined us during the pandemic has also been a real highlight, and having been through a year like no other, we’re sure they’ll be delighted to welcome the new wave of JBA graduates in 2022! 

Want to know more?

For details of how to apply for the JBA Graduate Scheme please visit our Graduate Recruitment hub.

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