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A day in the life of an air quality placement student at Ensafe

Sian Grimsley is currently undertaking her year in industry at Ensafe as part of the air quality team based in Manchester. Sian studies geography at Manchester University, and since joining in January has been exposed to invaluable insight from an environmental consultancy perspective.
We spoke to Sian to get her insight into her placement so far at Ensafe.


What are you involved in on a day to day basis?
My day to day tasks can vary a lot as I am usually involved in all stages of an air quality assessment. This can include writing reports or contacting councils, clients and also consultants in order to gain required information. I also support the team with their projects when required and will undertake general admin tasks or taking the time to learn and understand new processes.
I have also been on two site visits to undertake air quality monitoring as well as an odour survey which was a great experience.

What types of projects and clients have you been working with?
I have been exposed to lots of different projects including road impact assessments, exposure assessments and odour risk assessments. And my main clients have mostly been large housing property developers, although I have also worked with architects and civil engineers.

What have you learned since starting your placement at Ensafe/ have you come across any challenges?
Since starting my placement, I have gained an understanding of how environmental consultancies work and their involvement in the wider development and construction industry. I have seen first hand the impacts these industries have on air quality and the wider environment and how important and environmental consultancy such as Ensafe is vital to the development and construction process.
Ensafe gives you instant exposure which can mean lots of information to take in and apply- this involved learning how to use new software programmes and follow streamlines processes and although challenging has been a steep learning curve for me.

Have you been exposed to as much work as you thought?
There has certainly been much more exposure than I thought – which is a great thing! I was challenged to start my own projects straight away which has allowed me to build knowledge and confidence on the job from the start. Ensafe is definitely a hands-on learning style which is great for placement students like myself and you only have a year to understand the industry.

Has this placement developed your confidence?
As previously discussed, Ensafe definitely supplies a hands-on learn experience. Being out of my comfort zone at the start has definitely given me more confidence now which I believe I will take into my future employment after university.
I am constantly learning, gaining experience and a better understanding of the industry which is also developing my confidence.

Would you recommend Ensafe as a good place to undertake a placement?
YES! The whole business has been great, specifically the air quality team. They have been extremely helpful whilst exposing me to all different elements of the job which has given me a real taste for the what working for an environmental consultancy is like.
If you are looking at an environmental consultancy career, I would definitely recommend Ensafe. I have gained skills you cannot obtain at university such as business awareness, project management and communication at all different levels of the business. 
The socials are also a great added bonus!

How would you describe your placement in at Ensafe in 3 words?
Engaging, challenging and fun

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