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"I like the variety of work. Some days I’ll be at my desk designing new test fixtures using CAD and other times I’ll be acting as a Project Manager for engineering projects."
I joined Siemens Automation and Drives in October 2010 – almost two years ago now. Having studied Mechanical Engineering (BEng) and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with Management (MSc) at Loughborough University, I knew I wanted to work for a large multinational engineering company and Siemens Graduate Scheme seemed like the perfect place for me.
Since joining the scheme I’ve had a number of interesting corporate training modules and a few rotational placements too. I like the variety of work. Some days I’ll be at my desk designing new test fixtures using CAD and other times I’ll be acting as a Project Manager for engineering projects. Around this time last year I was involved with other colleagues, building and racing an electric car on the F1 track at Silverstone, which was a great experience – and really interesting.
The scheme has definitely lived up to my expectations – it’s given me the opportunity to really develop my knowledge and skills. It’s been challenging, but I’ve enjoyed that. I was in charge of a project involving the implementation of new software, engineering processes and a reallocation of tasks within the factory, earlier this year. During the course of the project I chaired large meetings, and while the project itself was fairly straightforward, controlling the meetings was like trying to herd a bunch of excited cats!
I learnt from that project – and others that I’ve worked on – that communication skills are essential in my role. It seems odd but most people have the required technical skills and at the end of the day the soft skills are what really make the difference. It doesn’t matter how much you know or how good you are, people want to know what’s happening on a project. The smoothest projects are the ones where everyone knows what’s happening at all times. A good engineer should be able to liaise with all stakeholders, regardless of their technical background.
I’ve been involved in training for some of the softer skills, like communications and effective business writing, as well as the technical side like using NX 3D CAD software and workshop training for the different machines. I’ve also been involved in team building exercises, which have been lots of fun.
I really like the fact that I’m part of a team at Siemens. My colleagues are really professional, but at the same time, very friendly. We play football together and go out for meals, they praise you when you’re doing well and support you if you’re struggling. When we’re involved in a tough project, we knuckle down and work hard because we know we are all in it together. And then, at the end of the project, we celebrate our success as a team.
Based on my placements so far, I’m looking forward to developing my skills on the industrial side of engineering. I’d like to work with automated lines and robotics as well as Project Management. The Graduate Scheme has been great for me and I would say to anyone thinking about applying to just do it. Siemens is such a large company there’s a role for everyone. And if you know what you want to do – and it benefits both you and the company – the role could be created.
Before I started here, my dream was to make a positive impact in people’s lives through technological development. I truly believe that this can be achieved at Siemens.