BRE Graduate Scheme
We are seeking highly motivated science, architectural, sustainability and engineering graduates who want to progress their career and make a difference in the built environment.
You will be given the opportunity to work on various projects at BRE on a series of four, six-month rotations in areas such as building structures, energy modelling, resource efficiency, sustainability, fire sciences, physical and electronic security and innovation. For example, our fire and security rotations include passive fire protection, suppression systems, fire investigation, fire engineering, physical security, electronic security, fire detection and alarms. You will each be assigned a mentor who will help guide and advise you throughout the programme.
This two-year programme will give you solid grounding in various aspects of our business, enabling you to take on a full-time role and develop your career in an appropriate part of BRE.
Hear from our 2016-17 Graduates
I have always been interested in working on a range of activities and learning new things which is why the graduate scheme at BRE was a great opportunity for me. Each placement that you’ll have over the graduate scheme will give you a true flavour of the business as a whole as well as lots of opportunity for professional development, building on a wide range of skills.
My background was focused on sustainability but since joining the graduate scheme I have gained a better understanding of how it is integrated with the built environment, especially while in my first placement in BREEAM. This placement was quite focused and involved undertaking both technical and business development research. My current placement in research and innovation has built my commercial awareness of the industry as I Interact with the different business areas to distinguish what the wider impact of our company is to society. It’s quite a diverse placement in that I’ve even gotten the opportunity to work with the communications team to create a video to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BRE Trust – a task I’ve never done before! With two really varied placements, I’m really excited to see what the next year will hold for me.
Outside of work there are a range of activities that you can get involved with. For example, I helped co-ordinate a volunteering day for my team while in BREEAM and with this a bake sale to fundraise for the charity that we were volunteering with. I even found myself joining the BRE Choir! Everyone at BRE is really friendly and supportive right from my fellow graduates through to the directors which has made it really easy to get settled in at BRE.
My time here at BRE has given me a good understanding of the different areas of the business, concerning: 1) what each of them are and particular importance, 2) their interdependence and 3) how their overall activity influences the reputation of BRE. Each placement has been difference and given me different perspectives to the type of work that is required to make the company run effectively.
My first placement was in BREEAM, where I got a uniquely technical perspective of the business and an in-depth understanding of the environmental certification process. I even got the opportunity to start an assessment on one of the newer buildings on site. The motive was to gain a snapshot of its overall environmental performance, its strengths and areas of improvement.
My second and current placement is in Marketing. The work became broader and more engaging which immediately showed in the opportunities given. I was asked to assist in national conferences such as EcoBuild and conferences which allowed for excellent networking success. Other tasks included market research for new global opportunities within the construction segment of the market, assistance on the maintenance and update of company websites and the handling of other projects.
Apart from this, there were many social and extra curricular activities which allow for interaction with fellow graduates, mentors and other BRE employees. The welcoming environment and community clearly show a care for staff on the part of BRE and a respectable place to work.
While at BRE you will not only have the opportunity to work within the fields of interest that brought you here, but you will also be exposed to areas of the business you previously knew little about. This really is a scheme that broadens your knowledge, skills and interests.
In my first placement with Building Futures Group (BFG) I was able to further explore my personal interesting in the relationship between climate change and the built environment while working on a number of research projects. Simultaneously, I was involved in the marketing and communications for one of BRE’s latest brands, SiteSmart. Though I had no prior knowledge of marketing this placement enabled me to gain an insight into this field while also allowing me to develop my research, collaborative and report writing skills.
My second placement is with the Centre for Resilience in BRE Scotland. Here I am involved with a number of projects focused on flood and overheating resilience. In addition to the motivating work I have also been given the opportunity to work in a part of the UK I previously haven’t spent much time. It is definitely a perk to work within a subject I am passionate about during the week and explore the highlands on the weekend!
Hear from our 2015-16 graduates
My time at BRE has allowed me to understand the workings of many areas of the business and gain skills I had no experience in before. Every placement has been completely different and I have had the chance to tailor my placements to the areas of the business that I have been interested in working with.
My first placement was in the sustainable products department which gave me an insight into both the consultancy side of the business as well as the opportunity to fee earn as part of the certification scheme. For my second placement I moved to the BRE Scotland office near Glasgow and worked in the field of flood resilience. For me this was a fantastic follow on from my Environmental Science degree and allowed me to get involved with many company leads as part of the Defra Flood Resilience round table in London. I have also worked in the research and innovation area which allowed me an insight in all areas of BRE’s current research programme across the built environment. This placement gave me the opportunity to meet the BRE Trustees and understand the process of how BRE works from a top down perspective. My final placement is in BREEAM Infrastructure and CEEQUAL. This team manages two infrastructure schemes for assessing the environmental performance of construction projects. My role within this team will see me working on many areas of the continuing development of the schemes.
So far my experience of BRE has been thoroughly varied and interesting and I have enjoyed every minute of the graduate scheme. This is a fantastic company to work for who really do give their graduates opportunities that would not be found elsewhere.
The Graduate Scheme gives you a holistic oversight of the business. To have the opportunity to be introduced and adapt to four separate work areas is a good way to learn about the organisation, and ultimately will help you to develop both personally and professionally.
I am currently in my fourth and final placement so speaking from my experience of the (nearly) complete two-year graduate scheme I can say that it definitely has shaped me as a person, especially this early on in my career; aiding my understanding of several aspects enveloped within the ‘built environment’ bracket and general sustainability. Tasks may range from scheme development and data analysis to handling your own projects, interacting with external clients and even the possibility of providing assistance on government reviews from time-to-time.
Amongst all this, there are many social and extra-curricular activities to get involved in with a network of other graduates, mentors and great colleagues. The welcoming nature and community feel here makes it easy to integrate.
Working for BRE has provided me with the opportunity to get involved in some fascinating areas of work, all whilst expanding my knowledge, refining my skillset and kick-starting my career.
Before coming to BRE, I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering. This set me up well for my first placement in BTG where I jumped straight in with conducting structural testing to UKAS test standards and writing technical reports. Following that, I spent 6 months in BREEAM with both the Communities and Strategic development teams. This provided a chance to get an insight into how BREEAM is operated on a day-to-day basis and how the complete update cycle is managed. My third placement was in the Sustainable Products team, where I spend time project managing sustainability certification work on construction materials and providing consultancy for several EU funded research projects. I have just started in the Fire Investigation team where I have been involved in setting up life-size fire experimentation, both to inform government policy and to answer legal questions surrounding real fires in the built environment.
Overall, the sheer variety of the work I have been involved in has been fascinating and the graduate scheme has offered a flavour of the range of services offered by a company with a diverse range business activities!
Hear from our 2014-15 graduates
My passion is for the built environment and how it impacts on not only the environment, but also on people. My first placement in BREEAM was great at drawing upon those interests in that I was given the opportunity to conduct research on this very subject, with the view of potentially feeding into future BREEAM criteria. I was also involved in business and strategic development to identify untapped commercial opportunities. My current placement in Research and Innovation has so far been so stimulating and diverse. A day’s work could involve liaising with colleagues around BRE on their publication and research proposals, helping to refine internal processes, getting involved in marketing communications, conducting core science research, writing internal and external reports, and aiding areas of the business on product development. I am also involved in the two thematic programmes, Resilience and Future Cities, which further exploit my true interests! Work aside, there are plenty of activities happening on our beautiful grounds! I am involved in the School Ambassador scheme where we showcase the Innovation Park to visiting schools, educating and hopefully enthusing children about climate change, energy efficiency and renewable technologies; as well as the Staff Champions, helping to maintain BRE as a great place to work!
I particularly enjoy the diverse nature of the work undertaken at BRE. My first placement was within the Housing & Energy Team, where I was able to work on large projects that were based all over the UK. Working within this team allowed me to witness the amount of logistical planning that goes into large scale research, and being able to personally go out onsite and undertake measurements on the UK housing stock has been a great experience.
My second placement has been completely different. I am currently working within the Resource Efficiency Team where I am expected to talk to clients on a daily basis, and look to try and improve relationships with our customers. Having a largely technical background, this has really improved my commercial awareness.
BRE is a genuinely nice place to come to work, and there are plenty of social activities to get involved in.
As with everything, the BRE Graduate Scheme experience is what you make it. The scheme offers a variety of placements that provide insight into the range of expert work that goes on here. During my first placement I learned about responsible sourcing and environmental profiling of construction products; I was quickly responsible for managing my own projects and interacting directly with clients. I have also trained as a Schools Ambassador, participated in a national level consultation and blown the dust off my clarinet for the BRE Christmas Carol service. The scheme is great for both personal and professional development and there’s a close network of other graduates, mentors and friendly colleagues to provide encouragement and support along the way.
Reflecting on my first placements on the graduate scheme at BRE brings these words to mind: dynamic, fast-paced, varied and stimulating. In coming to BRE straight from completing my Environmental Science degree, my first few months were full of learning, meeting people and enjoying having essential input into the many projects that were happening in my department. I spent my first 6 months in the Building Futures Group and with this team I had the opportunity to work all over the UK, both office and site based, which provided me with great insight of this vibrant industry which we work in. I have completed reports, data collection and analysis for a range of customers and seeing my work help clients improve and understand their products has really brought enjoyment to my time here.
Being on the graduate scheme gives us specific training and guidance throughout the two years which I have already found to be truly beneficial to my personal development and certainly helps with the transition into the working world!
What I really enjoy about working at BRE is that there is a real focus on our wellbeing, I am an active member of the S Plan (sustainability group), have volunteered at an allotment with the volunteering programme and I got to the aerobics every Wednesday lunchtime (one of the many classes available on site to BRE staff). Aside from the ‘planned’ activities on site Bricket Wood common is just outside the gate and a fantastic place for a lunchtime wander, it is a brilliant place to work.
For my first 6 months on the Graduate Scheme I was based in the Fire Safety Engineering team. Having studied Neuroscience and Forensic Science in Scotland, this post was the ideal stepping stone between a largely scientific background and the vast array of work BRE do surrounding fire. I have been involved in a great variety of challenging and diverse projects, ranging from full scale fire tests in the BRE Burn Hall, to experimental modelling using computational fluid dynamics. The activities outside of the office are equally diverse, with sports and societies ranging from table tennis to bee-keeping.
The initial culture shock of moving 400 miles wore off quickly, helped hugely by the hardworking and welcoming community here. My current role is with the Passive Fire Protection team, and has so far involved small and large scale fire tests, developing my understanding of the certification work we do, and programming a new software platform to enhance our testing capabilities. Not what I would call boring.