James Cavalot

Graduate Optimised Operations (O2) Engineer

"3M provides 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 was not a company I had earmarked 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 is 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 provides 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 provides 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 is a great company to work for! I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t willing to help me develop and succeed; this 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!!