Karolina Siemieniuk

R&D Graduate

"Be confident of your own knowledge. Be yourself. Don’t be scared to say what you know, and make the most out of your experiences."

What was the application process like?

The application process was a typical placement year application. It required a CV, personal statement and involved answering a few questions on the website. It was then followed by a telephone interview and assessment centre. The process was straightforward and I was well supported throughout.

What advice would you give to students applying for your role?

Be confident of your own knowledge. Be yourself. Don’t be scared to say what you know, and make the most out of your experiences. Build your network and get involved in as many things as you can.

How much responsibility do you have?

During my time at Caterpillar I felt like I was entrusted with a good amount of responsibility, within each department that I worked. I had to deliver projects on time and present them to international colleagues and internal customers. I felt that my work was of use to the company and contributed to important decisions and future projects.

What do you most enjoy about your placement scheme?

I really enjoy facing new challenges every day, combining theoretical knowledge with real-life applications. Seeing simulation in one department come to life in another department brought real value to my work, and pushed me to work harder every day. The variety of work, from day to day, really keeps you on your toes.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was being faced with tasks that I have never done before. I had to learn how to work through problems systematically, identifying where to find the right information/help and work with colleagues to complete the tasks to a high quality and on time.

What is the work environment like?

Great atmosphere. I felt that I was able to ask questions of anyone and receive a helpful response. I made some good friends and joined several sports teams with colleagues.

What activities are there outside of work?

There are plenty of sports clubs to get involved in, such as cricket, basketball, tennis and rock climbing. The Young Professionals group is a Caterpillar society for new starters and focuses on providing a social group both in and out of work. I have attended several events including volunteering at the salvation army, Perkins Freshers’ week and frequent meals out. STEM is well supported within Caterpillar, with two major volunteering events throughout the year being a First Lego League competition and British Science Week.

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