Inspiring Alumna – Hayley Jackson, Graduate Civil Engineer

26th April 2019

Hayley attended NGHS from 2007-2014, leaving with 3 A-levels in Maths, Biology and Geography. Hayley has really made the most of every opportunity given to her during her time at NGHS, and has gone on to be highly successful in her chosen field of Civil Engineering. We’re really proud of Hayley for excelling in her education and career, and gaining some outstanding achievements. We hope that Hayley’s career journey and incredible experiences inspire our girls to dream big and see that in just a few years’ time, they too could do many extraordinary things, just as Hayley has done.


Through the Careers Department at NGHS, I was lucky enough to secure a 4-month summer placement with URS an Engineering Consultancy, in the Pavement Management Systems Department. This gave me the opportunity to gain some invaluable work experience prior to starting university.

NGHS provided me with the confidence and work ethic to keep striving to reach my goals. They gave the help and support to find a career path that I absolutely love! The extra-curricular opportunities, completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and the 3 Peak Challenge have given me memories I’ll never forget.

I read Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham where I graduated with a First-Class Master’s Degree in 2018. Whilst studying for my A-levels, I applied for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Undergraduate QUEST Scholarship, which I was awarded. This is a national engineering scholarship for students about to embark on a Civil Engineering degree who show a passion and dedication for the discipline, leadership potential, team working qualities and an understanding of challenges within the industry.

As part of this scholarship, I was sponsored by Taylor Woodrow (VINCI Construction) which meant I had the opportunity to complete summer placements during my degree, equating to a further 6 months experience. In the first year I was a site based engineer on Victoria Dock Portal, part of Crossrail, London, then the M5 Junction 4a-6 Smart Motorway upgrade and finally Whitechapel Station, Crossrail, respectively.

During my time at university, as well as completing my academic studies, I was a student ambassador involved in promoting the department to prospective students. I also ran several taster days and was a student representative on a number of the staff committees looking at the running and improvement of the department. I was awarded the Golden Jubilee Prize at the end of my third year for non-academic work within the department, and the Chris Maxwell Prize at graduation for the most significant contribution to the department throughout my degree. Additionally, I was part of the Best 4th Year Group Design Project Award.

After graduation I joined my sponsor company Taylor Woodrow (VINCI Construction) as an Assistant Engineer working on High Speed 2 in Birmingham. I have been involved in a number of sections of the project including working in the Land Access and Pre-Construction Teams.

Take advantage of every opportunity, great things can come out of unexpected situations. Do what makes you happy and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Find something you’re passionate about and you’ll succeed.

I’m currently Chair of the ICE Graduates and Students committee in the East Midlands, having previously held the positions of Committee Secretary and Vice Chair from 2016-2018. This role includes chairing meetings and organising and running events for engineers and other construction professionals in the region. I also sit on the main regional committee and have represented the East Midlands at a national level.

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