Sam Folkes


"With many colleagues rising through the company having joined as a graduate, there is support on almost every level."

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

The biggest advice I can give to new applicants is ‘be yourself’. Caterpillar employees want to see the best in you, and they will, providing you show them who you are. One of the most important skills in engineering is being able to learn and solve things quickly, to a high standard. So providing evidence of instances where you have stepped out of your comfort zone and helped towards the successful outcome of a project or situation is key.

Can you give an overview of your rotations?

The graduate scheme allowed me to rotate through four separate areas of the company, enabling me to identify where in business could best serve my skills and interests during the start of my career. I worked with component engineering teams, facilities management and new product introduction, building a network that continues to help support my current role.

How much responsibility do you have?

I currently have responsibility for delivering a global emissions project to meet new government legislation. I regularly work with teams in America to align our strategies and support best practices. I also chair the Peterborough Young Professionals, taking responsibility for supporting new starters and for the growth of the group.

What is one thing you did not expect or other people wouldn’t expect your job description to entail?

I’d never given a thought to Emissions Measurement before joining the graduate scheme, however after being placed in the department for my first rotation I found that the role supported everything I enjoyed about engineering. Regularly working as part of a global team and supporting engine development programmes means that every day is different. I’ve built my network, a knowledge of Caterpillar’s products, and begun to appreciate the challenges of facilities management. I am regularly pushed beyond my comfort zone, working on project that are both new to me and new to the business.

What is the work environment like?

At Caterpillar, you are surrounded by people working towards a common purpose. We all work to bring the best performing and highest quality products to our customers, equipping them with world leading tools to support their businesses. As a result of having a common cause, everyone within Caterpillar is willing to help, whether it be project based or personal. Also, with many colleagues rising through the company having joined as a graduate, there is support on almost every level.

What activities are there outside of work?

Peterborough is a perfect hub for anyone wanting a healthy life outside of work. With plenty of green space in and around Peterborough, and great rail links to nearby cities, including London, there is something for everyone. Many news starters find new hobbies, including rowing, wake boarding and rock climbing. The young professionals group also arranges regular excursions both in and out of work time, and social events in the local area.

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