Aidan O'Riordan, Electrical ICI Construction Intern, Black and McDonald

Electronic and Electrical Engineering Student, University of Strathclyde

This summer, I am working in the Electrical IC&I Estimation team for Black & McDonald. My role involves assisting members of the team to develop accurate project cost estimates for bids.  

I really appreciate the programme they have here, with a large focus on personal development and independent application of things learned at university. It is well-structured with a mentor system and the opportunity to take several Harvard Business School courses. While all Canadians are nice, B&M has been great and given me time to adapt to the new culture.

As I have just completed my master’s degree, the main aim for this internship is to assess my career ambitions and if electrical construction fits in with that. In this role, I want to be trusted to complete valuable work independently. Additionally, I want to experience my potential work environment in the future by going on-site and fully understanding how the industry works. 

Living abroad for three months is also a challenge. I hope to grow more confident, make friends, and experience the amazing Canadian culture! 

Aside from some cultural differences, there is a surprising similarity between Toronto and Scotland for me. It’s made it that much easier to get settled and adjust to the new city/country. 

My role at Black & McDonald has been a gradual introduction to the industry, with minor tasks given to me to assess my own ability but also improve my understanding of their processes and methods. I was introduced to the team and the office, and it has been interesting to see the differences in the way things operate here. I have not had a chance to assist most of the team yet, but they are all nice and eager for me to help. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in during the next few weeks! 

Due to our location, sorting out transport to work or into town has been a little tedious as we don't have a car. We found bikes for sale and got them repaired, so alongside using public transport everything's worked out in the end. 

I managed to get time off to visit one of my friends in Vancouver which was incredible. I am excited about all the festivals, activities, and places we've planned to go to as a group, Niagara Falls was the first of many! We will also definitely be watching all of Scotland's Euros games we can make!

Written by: Aidan O'Riordan
Aidan O Riordan Black and Mc Donald 1Canada Scholars at Niagra Falls Aidan O Riordan Black and Donald