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Alex O’Donovan, a Mechanical Engineer based in Frankfurt, Germany, offers first-hand testimony to the growth journey you can expect on Mercury's graduate programme.
Alex O’Donovan, a Mechanical Engineer based in Frankfurt, Germany, offers first-hand testimony to the growth journey you can expect on Mercury's graduate programme. 

Big clients, complex projects & unique culture – Alex O’Donovan on why Mercury’s graduate programme is a great platform to launch your career

As a dynamic industry leader, we believe that there’s nothing stopping our brightest talents from achieving their goals. 

We’re excited to announce the launch of our 2024 Graduate Programme, and we’re actively seeking the leaders of tomorrow who are eager to embrace our values, live our culture, and consistently exceed expectations. 

At Mercury, we take immense pride in nurturing exceptional talent and providing them with a robust platform to fulfil their career and personal development aspirations. 

Alex O’Donovan, a Mechanical Engineer based in Frankfurt, Germany, offers first-hand testimony to the growth journey you can expect. His experience with Mercury’s Graduate Programme, which he successfully completed in 2023, highlights why those looking to make an impact in the early stages of their construction career should apply. 

Read Alex’s full insight below. 

Can you tell us about your educational background? 

“I’m from Co. Tipperary in Ireland. After finishing school, I pursued a BA in Mechanical Engineering at Munster Technological University in Cork. My passion for engineering led me to start with the Level 7 course, which provided valuable hands-on experience with an emphasis on practical work in a workshop environment. I later progressed to the Level 8 course, delving deeper into the theoretical aspects of engineering.” 

What attracted you to apply for Mercury’s Graduate Programme? 

“Mercury’s promise of international exposure and involvement in large-scale projects immediately caught my attention. From the very beginning, it was clear that Mercury is dedicated to equipping graduates with the tools and opportunities for career growth. I had heard positive feedback about the company from friends who had experience with the company, and even though my college placement plans with Mercury were impacted by the pandemic, I couldn’t resist the opportunity when it came to applying for the graduate programme.” 

Could you tell us about your current role and location? 

“I am currently based in Frankfurt, Germany, working as a mechanical engineer on a large data centre project. Initially, I was told I would be placed in either London or Frankfurt, and I was thrilled to be selected to work in Germany. The transition to Frankfurt presented some challenges, but Mercury provided excellent support, arranging comfortable housing in a 2-bedroom apartment with colleagues of a similar age. Living in Frankfurt has been a great experience; the infrastructure is outstanding, and the ability to travel across Europe within a few hours during my free time is a great perk. Frankfurt’s culture and atmosphere have also won me over, offering unique experiences like attending ice-hockey games which I never would have been interested in previously. Moreover, the culture amongst my Mercury colleagues makes it feel more like a family over here. I joined Frankfurt GAA a while ago, which is sponsored by Mercury and this provides a great space to engage with others outside of work, there’s several tournaments hosted around Europe throughout the season, and I’ve really enjoyed this experience.” 

What’s the most enjoyable aspect of your job? 

“I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to work through the different phases of a project. Witnessing a project’s evolution from design to construction, commissioning, and handover is incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, collaborating with a diverse team, including both local and Irish colleagues, creates a dynamic, multinational working environment. Starting on the project immediately threw me into the deep end, but the fast-paced schedule forced me to quickly grasp various services, significantly accelerating my development. Joining before the project’s start allowed me to witness its evolution from the initial stages to commissioning, providing valuable lessons for future roles. The graduate program not only enriched my knowledge of services and German regulations but also honed my communication, presentation, punctuality, time management, and organisational skills. 

“Recently, I had the privilege of being part of a project team that successfully delivered a large data centre for a major international client. Now, I’ve transitioned to a new data centre project, where I’m applying the experience, I’ve gained both on-site and through the graduate programme to tackle this exciting challenge. This journey has solidified my commitment to Mercury, and I look forward to contributing to our projects in Frankfurt for years to come.” 

Do you have any advice for those considering applying to Mercury’s Graduate Programme for 2022? 

“I wholeheartedly recommend applying to Mercury’s Graduate Programme. It offers a wide array of possibilities and projects spanning across Europe, catering to diverse interests. If you have a passion for travelling and are eager to embark on a fulfilling professional journey, Mercury is the place to be. 

“One exceptional aspect of the programme is how it immerses you in Mercury’s unique company culture. You not only work on exciting projects but also have the opportunity to connect with colleagues based throughout Europe. This international exposure allows you to build a strong professional network that extends across borders. 

“The programme also places a significant emphasis on personal development. Through engaging group-based projects, you’ll refine your communication and soft skills. These projects aren’t just exercises; they are often delivered to senior management, up to the CEO level, providing a chance to make a real impact and showcase your abilities.  

“The company continually supports your progression, as evident in my own journey from a graduate engineer to a mechanical engineer in just two years. Whether you aspire to become a package lead or venture into project management, there are clear paths for growth. Mercury also provides opportunities for further education, encouraging you to keep pushing your boundaries.” 

Are you ready to elevate your skills and embark on a rewarding new journey?


For more information about our Graduate Programme, click here.

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