What it does: Helps create ground-breaking buildings and infrastructure
Staff stats: Over 12,000
The good bits: Professional development, fascinating work
The not so good bits: Long hours when on deadline
Hiring grads with degrees in: Property & Built Environment; Sciences; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration
The Arup story
Arup Group Ltd, commonly known as Arup, was founded immediately following WWII by a UK-based Danish-Norwegian engineer called Ove Arup. Ove created numerous companies that later coalesced into Arup Group. Ove, along with various partners and staff, essentially worked as a civil and structural engineering consultant.
What became Arup Group soon developed a reputation for being an innovative, multidisciplinary business that offered architectural, design, engineering and related services.
Arup’s role as the design engineer for the Sydney Opera House made the company’s global reputation. From 1957-1973, Arup used computer analysis, structural glue and precast concrete in previously unimaginable ways to help create one of the world’s most recognisable buildings.
Arup has been involved in one way or another with many other famous structures built over the last 70 years. Such as Apple Park (Apple’s corporate headquarters), Seattle’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Headquarters, Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Centre, Beijing’s ‘bird’s nest’ National Stadium and ‘water cube’ National Aquatics Centre and the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. In Australia, the company has contributed to the Melbourne Star Ferris wheel, Melbourne Museum, National Museum of Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Perth’s Swan Bells and the redevelopment of Lang Park.
Nowadays, Arup has 92 offices spread across 42 nations. It is or has been involved in construction projects in almost every country in the world.
Despite spending much of his life in the UK, Ove Arup remained sufficiently Scandinavian to be attracted to the idea of making Arup a worker’s commune. As a result, it evolved into a trust-owned firm with no individual shareholders or external investors. A significant proportion of Arup’s profits are divvied up between current and former staff. In 2016, Arup had an operating profit margin of 10.1 per cent on revenue of £1.24bn (A$2.2 billion).
As might be expected of a globe-spanning business founded by a man who straddled the cultures of England and Denmark, Arup is an organisation where “we recognise and respect each other’s differences and strive to build a working environment where those different perspectives create the best results for our equally diverse clients”.
Arup goes to great lengths to create “an inclusive working environment based on merit, fairness and respect”. One where “talented people of any background [can] produce their best work”.
In 2006, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Arup established a fund to “enable our people to apply their skills to solve challenges faced in developing countries”. Staff volunteer their time and technical expertise to “improve the lives of those in need”. The fund has delivered projects such as the Sabre Kindergarten in Ghana, Ntunga Maternity Hospital in Rwanda and the WZQ Bridge project in Gansu, China.
Arup also has a workplace-giving program that allows staff to donate to partner charities.
The recruitment process
If you aspire to work for Arup after graduating, you may want to do its 12-week ‘Summer Vacation Program’ over the Christmas break. While this program is “a pathway into [the] graduate program”, you don’t have to have completed it to apply for a grad position.
Arup seeks to recruit grads who are “exceptional people” with “excellent, relevant academic results”. They should also be “hungry to explore opportunity and eager to make [a] difference in shaping a better world”.
The recruitment process starts with an online application. This is reviewed against the following criteria:
- Degree awarded
- Academic achievement
- Relevant experience
- Evidence of team interaction
- Written communication skills
- Your responses to the additional questions
- The results from the online assessment
- Your working rights for the selected country
If you meet the necessary criteria, you’ll be invited to complete an online psychometric assessment. The next stage is a video interview. The final hurdle is a face-to-face interview with the managers of the team you’ve applied for a role with. If that goes well, and your references check out, you’ll receive an offer.
Those who get into the two-year grad program go through a comprehensive orientation and induction process. They then receive on-the-job technical training, as well as taking part in professional development programs. Engineering grads have the opportunity to become a member of the Engineers Australia professional development program. Non-engineers are given the opportunity to achieve a relevant professional qualification.
Arup doesn’t publicise its grad salaries, but it appears you can expect to start out earning somewhere between $60,000 - $70,000.
Along with some of the standard corporate benefits, such as life and salary continuance insurance, paid membership fees for professional associations, generous parental leave and discounts at a range of retailers, Arup offers some that are exceptional. These include perks such as getting a day off for your birthday and being able to take out a $2000 loan to buy a bike but the big one is participation in Arup’s Global Profit Share scheme. As a trust-owned firm, all permanent staff receive a share in the profits twice each year.
You’ll have the opportunity to get valuable professional qualifications and certifications while in the grad program. After that, the company provides all staff with a comprehensive range of learning and development programs. These programs ensure staff have “the skill and knowledge to excel at every level of [their] career with Arup”.
The vibe of the place
Arup walks the walk, as well as talking the talk when it comes to staff empowerment. It promises staff that they’ll do “rewarding and interesting work” while being involved in “challenging and iconic projects”. And that they’ll be “valued for [their] commitment” by bosses who respect the fact they “have a life and need time out to enjoy it”.
On top of all that, Arup encourages its staff to have fun out of hours by facilitating lots of social and sporting activities. Activities ranging from dragon-boat racing to Nintendo Wii competitions to Friday night drinks and weekend picnics. Plus, it bears repeating that Arup has an unusual but effective corporate structure. One that motivates staff by allowing them to share in the company’s profits in much more than a token manner.
From the Employers :
“Work should be interesting and rewarding. Only a job done well, as well as we can do it – and as well as it can be done – is that.” Ove Arup 1970. Founder, Philosopher, Engineer, Designer, Innovator
Arup was founded on the belief that the built environment can change people’s lives for the better. Every day, everywhere, we strive to meet this aim – helping clients solve their biggest challenges by harnessing our diverse skills and constantly expanding what’s technically possible.
The curious mind has been a driving force behind some of the world’s most inspired innovations. We value the originality and creativity that result when you bring together brilliant minds from different disciplines and apply them to incredible challenges. At Arup, our independence allows us the freedom choose prestigious projects we know will intrigue, interest and inspire you.
Not only Engineers
Engineers are a core part of Arup’s success. Equally important is the diverse range of non-engineering skills that enhance our business portfolio in consulting services.
At Arup you’ll find a community of talented people, who know their best work is always ahead of them. Our independent mindedness began with our founder, the engineer and philosopher Ove Arup. Today our independence is expressed in our willingness to move beyond the tried and tested. It’s how we shape a better world.
Our aims and values underpin everything we do
Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of today’s built environment. Together we help our clients solve their most complex challenges – turning exciting ideas into tangible reality as we strive to find a better way and shape a better world.
Arup was founded in 1946 by Ove Arup, a gifted engineer-philosopher with an original and restless mind. Arup is an independent firm, owned in trust for its members (otherwise known as colleagues), and is still guided by its founder’s spirit and principles. We choose work where we can make a real difference in the world, stretch the boundaries of what is possible, delight our clients and achieve socially valuable outcomes.
So what does that mean for you?
Many of our graduates join Arup knowing that we work on some pretty amazing, ‘out-there’ projects around the world. We are known for providing unique and challenging solutions to our clients, resulting in being part of the creation of some of the global iconic buildings. Think of the Sydney Opera House, the Bird’s Nest and Watercube in Beijing, the Gherkin in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris!
What our graduates are often surprised by, is how quickly you’ll be given responsibility and trust as a budding technical expert. You’ll be provided all the support and training you need of course, but you’ll also be encouraged to push your own boundaries and really achieve. Many of our leadership team started their own careers as graduates at Arup, and have travelled the world working on amazing projects and working with amazing people. An Arup journey is truly a ‘choose your own adventure’!
The Graduate Program
The Arup Graduate Development Program (GDP) provides a structured 2-year period of professional development for graduates joining the company, in combination with on-the-job learning. The program assists graduate employees with the transition from student to professional, and to instil a habit of maintaining continuing professional development (CPD).
Over the course of the Arup Graduate Development Program, graduates have the opportunity to complete a variety of customised training modules. Graduates spend time in these workshops with their graduate peers and with other Arup colleagues from different disciplines.
The Arup GDP is broken down into the following areas:
- Effectiveness Skills
- Project learning
- Technical skills
- On-the-job learning
- Community Outreach
- Mentoring & Networking
At Arup we place high value on building and maintaining relationships with colleagues from across the Arup world. To start this journey, each year we hold a networking event for all graduates from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore; at this event you will meet with, work with, and socialise with fellow graduates from a wide range of backgrounds different to your own. You’ll also meet with and learn from the senior leadership team, many of whom were graduates at Arup themselves. Plus it’s a really fun event!
As a permanent employee and member of Arup, you’ll receive all the benefits of working for an independent firm. We share our profits with our staff and the community, not external shareholders – this is your firm. You will have a huge number of opportunities to get involved in our community engagement activities, pro-bono projects, and any social events you’re interested in. What will your Arup journey look like?
This sounds amazing, tell me how to apply!
In 2019, we are bringing on 120 graduates across a huge range of disciplines, and located in our offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and Canberra, as well as New Zealand and Singapore. Check out our degree-match tool on our website.
To apply, please register and complete the application form on our website. Applications are open for Aus & NZ from February 26 and will close in early April.
How do I stand out from the crowd?
Ever been told that you’re unique? That there’s only one you? It’s true! We’re looking for people who bring a unique perspective and who are passionate about what they do – whatever that is. We value balance in our lives and would love to know what makes you tick. Don’t try to guess what we want to hear – just be honest and open about who you are.
We can’t wait to receive your application
How can we plan and design cities for the future? How is the energy sector responding to a changing world? How can we meet the water needs of rapidly growing urban populations? How are transport hubs evolving to meet local needs? These are just a few of the questions Arup members ask and answer on a daily basis on behalf of the world’s population – would you love to help us shape a better world?"