Hannah Howard

Design Engineer

"There are so many different opportunities here that whatever direction you want your career to take there is something available . . ."

Role: Design Engineer

Studied: MEng Chemical Engineering at University of Birmingham.

I became aware of ExxonMobil via their Business Skills weekend, and then found out much more about them when I had a summer vacation placement at the Chemicals plant at Fawley. I really appreciated even in this short time the real tasks that I was given to do and the friendly nature of everybody I met. I looked into other companies but didn’t find anyone else who could offer a similar package or who let you get really involved with big projects and everyday operations right from the start.

My Role

Currently I work within the design group at Fawley, working on a whole range of projects from materials upgrades to new injection facilities and environmental improvements. I have the opportunity to work with the process and technical teams from all over the site, as well as specialists in fields such as electrical, civil, cost and legal. No two days are ever the same, and each project brings new challenges, but I’ve slowly learned the framework and the other members of the group are always willing to share their experiences to help me improve my designs. Now, after 2 years in the job I’m also helping out newer members of the team in the same way, and it’s great to realise how much I’ve learned.

Some of my projects have now been installed and I can go and see them on the refinery, where they are making us money and improving our performance. My first start-up was a very exciting day and it’s great to get feedback from the operators that everything is running smoothly.

Training & Personal Development

Despite giving me a real job to do right from the start I have been given lots of training by ExxonMobil. This has been wide-ranging, including technical courses both on design aspects and for wider knowledge of refinery operations, and also personal development. I have learned about everything from team dynamics to company performance, and if I ever feel that there is a gap in my knowledge I can discuss it with my supervisor and usually, given the size of the company, there is something suitable that I can attend.

I’m going to be moving on into another role shortly, ExxonMobil don’t let you get complacent. There are so many different opportunities here that whatever direction you want your career to take there is something available.

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