A-Z Of Employers: Mott MacDonald

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The Independent Online

What does it do?

Mott MacDonald is a British-based group of businesses with a worldwide reach across a range of sectors, centred on management, engineering and development. Recent projects include a flood management scheme in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, transport systems in Taiwan and the USA, healthcare schemes in India and Africa, education planning in China and environmental projects in Romania. In the UK, its engineers are working on several elements of the vast new Heathrow Terminal 5 project, and they're also responsible for one of the striking new features of the London skyline: the 133m-high arch that towers over the new Wembley stadium. Also a member of the group is Cambridge Education, which has its fingers in numerous education pies here and abroad. It manages the entire schools service in the London Borough of Southwark, for example.

Vital statistics:

Mott MacDonald has over 9,000 staff, working in 100 countries worldwide. Turnover is around £500m a year.

The office:

The UK headquarters are in Croydon, where around 1,000 people are based. There are around 30 other major centres of employment around the country, including Cambridge (400 staff), Birmingham (300) and Glasgow (200).

Is this you?

Around 150 graduates are taken every year, most to work in engineering roles. Typical degrees include all varieties of engineering, as well as science, transport planning, quantity surveying and environmental disciplines. In future, graduate opportunities are likely in the health, education and wider management consultancy fields.

The recruitment process:

If you're freaked by, or fed up with, assessment centres, this could be the job for you, as Mott MacDonald doesn't use them. It is happy to rely on the instincts of managers in its own offices, who interview candidates put forward by the recruitment team, who read the 1,900 or so applications they get each year, via the careers section of the website, www.mottmac.com. It also reckons the application form ferrets out much more about you than a CV ever could. Recruits start on real projects from their first week, and also attend a range of in-house and online training courses, in areas such as presentation, communication and project management skills. It also supports, financially and morally, each graduate's progress towards chartered status with the appropriate professional body.

Top dollar?

Graduates start on a salary of at least £20,000, depending on qualifications and the region of first work base.

Beam me up Scotty?

Graduates are normally promoted as soon as they become chartered and, in a company aiming to double its turnover in the next five years, opportunities are likely to be abundant.

Who's the boss?

The group MD is Keith Howells, who joined the business in 1974 after getting a First in Civil Engineering from Swansea University.

Little known fact:

In the 1920s, company founder Sir Murdoch MacDonald worked in Egypt, advising the Ministry of Works on the building of the Aswan dam.

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