Mission: Saiful Bouquet's mission is to provide structural engineering services based on a holistic understanding of building cost, function, aesthetics, and performance, not just structural parameters.
I worked at Saiful Bouquet full-time (More than a year)
Saiful Bouquet for sure provides more than an engineer can expect. However, not everyone is able to understand and feel it, let alone benefit from it.
Projects & Work
The best part about the company is the high profile projects that an engineer can work on. Unlike the big firm only allows one to work on something he is good at, Saiful Bouquet gives young engineers the opportunity to work as much as he can. From conceptual design thru construction administration, from concrete to steel, an engineer is encouraged to learn as much as he can. Imagine an engineer can do the performance based analysis for a high-rise building in his first year, ambitious ones consider it as a rewarding challenge, while others complain it as pressure.
Usually this is the phase creating problems. Industry is nothing like school, where people work for their own benefit and have sufficient time to learn, those people are called students. However, in company people work for clients, and are being paid to perform rather than to learn, then they become engineers. Some engineers consider the learning process as part of the work, which in my opinion, is not. Get out of the school doesn't mean we stop doing homeworks, and that shouldn't be considered as overtime. Once engineer is familiar with SBI's standard and required knowledge, all the rewards will eventually come on his resume or become part of the skill set.
Very generous 401K matching plan, and probably the best medical insurance plan. Fresh fruit and many types of snacks and drinks are always in the kitchen. Office massage, quiet room, and relaxing environment makes SBI have the best perks in the industry. And thank you to the office manager, who keeps making everything better.
With the profound understanding of the building code, SBI tries to push the design to its limit. That requires a very solid knowledge about every parts of the design. In order to make things done, SBI wants its engineers to understand the concept first. Furthermore, SBI concentrates on the quality of drawings, which makes engineers have to pay attention to every detail. The working culture makes SBI engineers very valuable in the job market. All the managers are super knowledgable, and they are willing to help anyone in the office.
With many immigrants, SBI has a very friendly working environment. Actually Mr. Saiful is very supportive to immigrants, so is office manager Jeannine. There is no difficulty at all for an immigrant to fit in and make friends with each other. Happy hour, office activities including bowling and fishing, birthday party every month, all make the office a very good place to work. I hardly see people in other companies still talk to each other after work, while SBI is so different.
All in all, I think SBI is a company that separates engineers into two groups. Engineers in one will survive there and be able to survive everywhere; engineers in the other may only be able to do mediocre work and move slowly.
Sometimes the workload may be higher than usual, which increases the pressure. However, it does happen in every firm that has a growing reputation.
Some managers may be harsh to engineers when they make silly mistakes. Do homeworks first before taking the exam and don't take it personal.
Advice to Management
Not everyone has 20+ years of experience and born to know everything. Here I quote what Mr. Saiful said to engineers before:"be patient, and good things will come". I guess the wise suggestion may be considered by everyone.
I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Saiful Bouquet.
The interview lasted for about 45 min. I met with two of the principals via skype. The interview went quite smoothly. We briefly went through my resume, as well as the course work I have accomplished. We also discussed about the future of both mine and the company's. The overall experience was very nice.
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