In our new series we will show the everyday life of civil engineers working in different fields, to help the to-be and present university students see what opportunities does a civil engineer have.
Marcell Mezei is the project engineer of M6 Tolna Motorway Ltd. This job is due to his professional practice, where he showed, that they can count on him. Beyond his studies, the social life activity and dorm memories also plays important role in his career, not only the successful exams.
Why did you choose Faculty of Civil Engineering?
My mother is a hydrogeologist, my father is an architect, so being an engineer seemed clear for me. I’ve never been a good drawer, and I wasn’t really interested in architecture. Near the highschool final exams I felt that civil engineering is my way. The first two years made me clear that structural engineering is the best for me, and I’ve started to go that way, but finally I chose geotechnology, and graduated with that specialization. But then I’ve started to interest in transport facilities, and I had some empty places in my timetable, so I added those items too.
How did you get your professional practice?
As I guess, most of the others, with the help of an acquaintance I spent every summer one month at different companies. And then I got an unexpected offer: they asked me if I feel like to spend 3 months at a motorway operator company at M6 motorway. Of course, I happily said yes, and I spent there the summer before my last university year. In the next year I signed up there for a year long practice, and during that I got my degree.
And finally stayed there for the long run?
Not exactly, there was a small break after that year. First they called me to M6 Tolna Motorway, because they need a deputy associate for three weeks, and I knew the place and the job, they thought I could be proper. I undertook it with pleasure, because at that time I did not have a job, and it seemed to be another step to be a civil engineer. Finally after the three weeks, they offered a project engineer job, which I accepted.
What do you do exactly as a project engineer?
There are few similar companies, however our situation is individual. We are a concession motorway operator company, so we have reporting requirements for the state, as our client, over that we are in contact with the implementer. Our main tasks are supervising the warranty claims improvement with the implementer and plan and check the maintenance works within our powers, make tenders in connection with these, hand them over and control them. And, of course all the documentations and reports of these works.
Do you handle everything from the office?
Not, this is a job, where you have to travel very lot. The half of the week goes by travelling, control the works or prepare for new projects. I spend the rest of the time in the office, with charts, emails, phones and report-writing.
For who do you recommend this job?
Time management and attention sharing are the most important skills. There are many projects run parallel, and within them there are more lines to handle, and you cannot ignore the small details either. One of the works are in preparation, an other is under tendering, and an other is right before finishing – and you have to know everything all of them. Regarding the schedule, our office is in Budapest, but sometimes I start my day in Szekszárd, or finish it in Dunaújváros. The university social life and the dorm experiences helped a lot in handling this pace of work.
How do you mean this?
You do not only learn a lot during the lectures. Dormitory Pál Vásárhelyi defined my life, and it was as important to my professional progress as my exam results. First, it is the best place for building relationships, what is very important in our profession. And then, we invested much energy in building social life there. I was the member of Palibácsi Kör (this is a party organizer cirle, named after Vásárhelyi Pál’s nickname) and the Event Organizer Committee, and taking part in this works gave us self-confidence and we learned who to act decisively. I feel the profits of this during my works today.
What about the financials?
I am totally satisfied, I earned my living as an intern too, not only the minimum, but an acceptable wage. And in this profession, you have the chance to the promotion.