Graduate profile - Chris Butterfield

Interesting fact about you:

I am a keen Swimmer, Ceroc Dancer and Origami folder… luckily not all at the same time.

Area of the business you are based in:

Wastewater Operations.

Why did you choose to join Thames Water?

I always wanted to help people and make a difference, as part of Thames Water I feel that I have the chance to make a difference to millions of customers lives, most of the time without them even realising. I feel that access to proper water and waste water supply is such an essential service that before I worked for Thames Water, I realise I kind of just assumed that it just happened.

What happened on the graduate programme and why was the programme the right choice for you?

I’ve done so much in addition to my day to day job, I’ve learnt loads about the business and how it all works, but it has also showed me that there is still so much more for me to learn. I’m really glad I came in through the graduate scheme, as whilst there can be a lot to juggle at times, there are so many opportunities to grow your network, skills and knowledge. An example of this I’ve recently signed up to is our community speaker programme, where we go into schools and the community to talk about what Thames Water does as a company.

What different roles have you had and what exciting projects have you been involved in?

Until June 2017, I worked in site operations for wastewater treatment, assisting the management team with day to day operations management as well as managing projects on site/staff performance, Health and Safety, communications & team leadership and process improvement, a number of which have helped other parts of Wastewater with dealing with the same challenges.

I am about to move into a wastewater business wide role working in the Environmental Monitoring Systems team.

What’s been the best part so far?

The networking and the ability to see and talk to so many different people within the company. I have also loved learning how the process of water and wastewater treatment actually work. I was amazed at the fact that we generate electricity from biogas production from wastewater!

What do you believe are the key skills you need to do your role?

Being able to talk to people and manage yourself and engage others in a challenging situation.

An inquisitive nature and the ability to ask the right questions in the right way.

Having the confidence to challenge/question people on why they are doing something the way they are.

What is one thing you would tell yourself now if you were just starting as a graduate?

Be persistent and resilient when trying to make a positive difference to the business and make sure you make good connections with people at all levels, you never know when they will be able to help you in the future.