Maela is a Civil Engineer at Pick Everard, a growing multi-disciplinary consultancy in the property and construction sector with over 450 employees across 11 UK offices.
After being selected to attend access summer schools in Finland and Cambridge, her views of potential careers changed and she quickly realise she wanted to be an engineer. With the help of the Construction Youth Trust, Maela secured her first job working on The Eden Project, and inspirational project which soon had her eyes securely fixed on Civil Engineering.
But there was once a time when I never dreamed I would get to where I am today.
My dyslexia meant school was a struggle for me; I only started to read aged 11 and was told to expect nothing better than G grades in my GCSEs, meaning the prospect of pursuing a professional career path was remote.
I had been led to believe people like me were dumb, thick, stupid. I took solace in my music, something I was good at, and while performing around Cornwall I happened to hear about how Richard Branson, himself dyslexic, did not let this stop him and became hugely successful.
This inspired me to overcome my own challenges. I threw myself into my studies – climbing nine sets in English to teach the top set – and achieved a B in GSCE English out of a total 11 GCSEs all with A and B grades.
Excited at the opportunities available to me, I took up summer school placements in Finland and Cambridge and decided I wanted to become an engineer. However, as a woman in what remains an industry dominated by men, finding my way in was always going to be a challenge.
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