James Cavalot

Graduate Optimised Operations (O2) Engineer

"3M provide the perfect opportunity to have an incredibly diverse career while remaining with a single company!"

What attracted you to 3M in the first place?

3M were not a company I had ear marked as a potential employer, however I saw an advert for an industrial placement and explored the opportunity. I very quickly realised that I had been overlooking a massive company ($30 billion of sales from their 55,000+ products) and decided to apply. 3M are considered one of the world’s leading technology companies and working at the cutting edge of their research and development as an industrial placement student was an exciting prospect. I returned after completing my degree, as the chance to continue working in such an impressive company was too great to turn down.

What's your role at 3M?

After enjoying a successful industrial placement in one of 3M’s R&D labs and completing my degree, I returned as a graduate optimised operations (O2) engineer. This role involves streamlining 3M’s manufacturing processes by utilising Lean Six Sigma methodologies and tools. The main aim is to increase the capacity and capability of a manufacturing process, by implementing improvements. This was all new to me! As a chemist, I had no prior engineering knowledge or experience, but the support from colleagues, combined with a problem solving mind set and the training provided by 3M, have all enabled me to competently perform in the role.

What's life been like at 3M?

3M instantly provide graduates (and placement students alike) with a high level of responsibility on valuable projects, making you an important member of the team from the very start. This makes for an interesting and enjoyable challenge. The amount of support from the many talented and friendly individuals at 3M has enabled me to drive projects forward without fear of making mistakes.

What are you looking forward to in the future?

I am excited by the prospect of working in a variety of roles, across multiple business divisions. 3M provide the perfect opportunity to have an incredibly diverse career while remaining with a single company! Already I have worked in Healthcare and Automotive aftermarket industries- two positive, but vastly different experiences!

Why would you recommend 3M to fellow students?

3M are a great company to work for! I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t willing to help me develop and succeed, this environment is the ideal environment for someone at the early stages of their career.

Due to the size and diversity of 3M, you do not need to commit to a particular job function or industry, you can move around the company searching for the perfect role for you, and there is something for everyone!!

Employee Profiles

Cara Booth - Optimised Operations (O2) Engineer

"I found that you get a lot of support to progress and are provided with great training..."

Martin Mitton - Process Engineer at 3M Gorseinon

"The graduate programme has a fantastic training scheme which covers soft and hard skills."

Jack Williams - Software, Electronics, and Hard-goods Laboratory

"If like me, you’re the type of person who learns best by doing, and is willing to get..."

John Alimi - Design Placement Student

"I work within the Hardgoods team and I have been involved in various exciting projects...."

David Draper - Senior Manufacturing Technology Engineer

"Since returning to 3M (after my industrial placement) in 2010, I have completed the..."

Nikki Pullan - Advanced Product Development Engineer

"I’ve been fortunate enough to work on key development projects for AAD & ASD with some..."
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