Imogen Woodhead

Graduate Programme

"With James Walker you could see that they really invested in their people and their development, it wasn’t just something they said on the website you could see they were passionate about putting people at the heart of amazing engineering."

Roles/Responsibilities

My first placement is at James Walker Cockermouth in Cumbria and my first project is on developing materials suitable for extrusion.

Having not learnt much about rubber at university, starting here has been a crash course in rubber technology. But James Walker has invested the time and energy to make sure I have the resources and knowledge I need to carry out my role. It also helps that I am surrounded by experts that are always willing to help me learn and answer any questions I may have. I am also involved developing diversity and inclusion at James Walker.

What attracted you to JW?

When you are applying for graduate jobs every company that you look into seems perfect and that you would love to work there. However it wasn’t until I stumbled across James Walker on Gradcracker that I really felt a connection to a business and their values.

With James Walker you could see that they really invested in their people and their development, it wasn’t just something they said on the website you could see they were passionate about putting people at the heart of amazing engineering. The application process was incredible personal, Mike reads all the applications himself and gives individual feedback and you already feel more cared about than in other application processes. It’s not only the culture and values of James Walker that attracted me, it is the innovative engineering that take place there.

The graduate programme has 3, 1 year placements and they are all in different roles doing different projects. This means you get a good feel for the business and what are interests you the most and where you would be happiest working . It also helps that you can do a year (or more) abroad!

Most enjoyable part of your job

Meeting new people with a wide range of skills and knowledge and learning from them.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

In a job that I enjoy doing something interesting and fulfilling.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Having moved to the Lake District I am looking forward to the evenings becoming lighter and the weather improving to explore the local area on walks and on my bike. But in the mean time I am content to watch TV and bake.

What was your favourite day at work or project so far?

During the induction process I really enjoyed my time following the entire process from the initial order to shipping. I was able to mix a batch of rubber and see it milled and processed. Then I was able to make a hydraulic seal on my own (under a watchful eye) and it made it through inspection! What was great was then I followed that seal though the final processing till it was able to be shipped off to the customer. I really enjoy a hands on experience and this has allowed me better understand the products and processes. It has been really helpful seeing the entire process from start to finish and will come in use on my project.