"So far, my graduate experience has far exceeded my expectations. The work-life balance, connections I have made and opportunities and places these have taken me have made it an amazing first year of full time employment."
After my third year at the University of Birmingham studying MEng Mechanical Engineering, I thought it would be a good idea to apply for some summer internships to gain some industry experience before moving into my final year. After attending the assessment day at Autodesk at the end of 2015, I was offered a 12-month placement at Autodesk’s office in Birmingham. It was the perfect scenario for me; starting a placement at such a large company while being able to live in Birmingham and continue my social activities.
The 12-month internship, starting in July 2016, began with 2 weeks of software training, where all new starters were given a crash course on the various manufacturing softwares specialised in at the Birmingham facility. After this, I spent a year rotating through various 10-week placements with different teams to gain experience across all areas of the company. The placements ranged from Technical Marketing to Customer Support to working in our manufacturing facility; the Birmingham Technology Centre.
Nearing the end of my placement in Birmingham, I had contacted my tutor at university to confirm my dissertation topic which related heavily to Additive Manufacturing. It was at this point that I discovered that Autodesk had a Consulting team who specialised in Additive Manufacturing and Composites, based in London. I reached out to the manager of the team to find out more, then moved down to London 3 weeks later to spend 5 months gaining more experience working in his team after being offered an extension to my placement.
Spending these 15 months working in the manufacturing industry with various teams and customers secured in my mind that this was the path I wanted to continue post-graduation, which was extremely lucky as I was offered a place on the graduate program for the following September for after I graduated. I started full time at the beginning of September 2019, and by the end of September I had moved to Windsor, Ontario to spend a 10-week rotation working as part of the sales support teams, travelling to and providing technical support to customers within automotive industry.
After returning to Birmingham, and continuing my rotations, applied and was successful in obtaining a position as an Implementation Consultant, helping large customer accounts solve problems using customer manufacturing solutions. I have loved it so far, the increased responsibilities, independence and travel has accelerated my professional development massively. I have been lucky enough to travel across Canada, USA and Europe for conferences and onsite customer visits, with many more on the horizon for the very near future.
So far, my graduate experience has far exceeded my expectations. The work-life balance, connections I have made and opportunities and places these have taken me have made it an amazing first year of full time employment.