Bella on wave of success to coastal career

It’s Women in Construction Week and we’re introducing our placement student, Bella.

Growing up in coastal Cornwall, Bella always feels at home when she’s close to the sea. So, when the opportunity for a civil engineering student placement came up with the Southsea Coastal Scheme, she took the leap to apply.

Bella chose her career path after taking an early interest in maths and art at school, followed by work experience at international engineering company Jacobs where she says she learnt just how much of the ‘everyday’ is civil engineering. She then gained a place at Bath University to pursue her chosen career.

Bella said: “The idea of one day being able to say ‘I helped build that’ was exciting, and soon I’ll be able to do just that once our frontage around Southsea Castle opens!

“There are many avenues in civil engineering, but I’d love to follow one in coastal. I wanted to work for the Southsea Coastal Scheme to be part of a team that’s making so much difference. Not only is the scheme protecting over 10,000 homes, but it’s kind to the ocean… and I’m all about that!”

Bella encourages women to enter the engineering industry as their “perspectives, creativity and determination are invaluable assets that the industry needs”.

“To me, ‘keys to the future’ means recognising the contributions of women within the construction industry and supporting our female colleagues as well as breaking stereotypes.

Embrace the challenges, trust in your abilities and know that you belong here just as much as anyone else. Now part of this team, I ensure I contribute to creating this supportive environment for my female colleagues.”

Outside of work, Bella has set up a ‘Girls Who Walk Portsmouth’ group which is a platform for women within Portsmouth to meet, form new connections and build genuine friendships.

“The group has grown way bigger than I’d ever had imagined; what started as a way for me to meet people in a new city, has now become a community of wonderful women – many of whom are engineers.”

For the future, exciting times lie ahead for Bella with an 8-week stint in Fiji to volunteer with a sustainable infrastructure project before she returns to Bath to complete her degree.

“I’d love to travel with my degree. The idea of working in developing countries where there are so many possibilities to contribute to transformative change. The distant future provides so many opportunities for me that I don’t know even about yet, but I’ll most definitely be taking them.”

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