Alexander Hart graduated from BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Composites in 2017, and now works as a Supply Chain Graduate Trainee for DHL Supply Chain in Rochester.
This is Alexander's story
Initially, I chose Plymouth because it had a solid mechanical engineering course, but after visiting on the Applicants’ Day, I got to visit the composites laboratories. That’s when I knew that is what I wanted to study. The staff in the composites department sold me on something I had never even considered prior to the day, and I am so glad I did it.
When I first joined Plymouth, I exclusively wanted to work as a professional aerospace engineer. After discovering the breadth of possibilities for an engineer’s career, I realised that, with the skills I have gained through my degree, I could expand into operations-style roles, jobs that resonate with my style of work much more.
The transferable skills I obtained during my time here have proven exceptionally valuable time and time again.
I particularly enjoyed making a composite towing eye in my final year. While the towing eye was functionally useless and didn’t do what we expected, the experience was a lot of fun, and many laughs were had.
The mechanical engineering degree focuses very heavily on teamwork, which has helped leaps and bounds in both my placement and my current work. Cooperation and planning skills that were developed during the team coursework find utility everywhere in the workplace, and having that grounding makes the transition from academia to employment seamless.
I loved the time I spent at Plymouth. Sure, there were ups and downs, but the people I have met and the things I have learned I will cherish forever.
The library provided such a bounty of highly specialised texts that I made full usage of throughout my degree. The Primo system, the online repository for published articles and papers, was endlessly used when doing coursework and examination preparation.
The course I chose has put me in good stead to follow a lucrative career in a growing industry. Of course, I made many memories outside of the academic side with the many friends I gathered along the way. Truly a great experience throughout.
An eye-opening placement
I had only heard about work placements in passing before applying, and on the Applicants’ Day, a student on the marine technology course discussed it with me. That drove me to push forward with it when I enrolled.
The encouragement I received to pursue a placement enthused me and ended up landing me a role at GE Aviation.
My placement opened my mind and made me consider more career prospects than pure engineering.
It gave me the motivation to push myself through my final year with vigour and encouraged me to look to the Logistics and Supply Chain industry for my graduate scheme, which I will use to build my Operations knowledge for my future career.
Since I completed my degree, I have been working at DHL Supply Chain functioning as a Transport Supervisor for an aviation fuels delivery contract. My time is largely spent working with HGV drivers to ensure the fuel is delivered on time and in the correct quantities for our airline customer. Additionally, I work to solve disputes internally in the driver cohort, and any issues the drivers raise in relation to the company.
I have already been on a very comprehensive training course on Change Management and Project Management that will set me in good stead for the future. I found the course to be very engaging and interesting, and has shaped my career goals somewhat.
What would you do differently since graduating?
“I would improve my LinkedIn profile far in advance of graduation. While I was lucky enough to get onto a high ranking graduate scheme, a well-prepared LinkedIn profile can gain you visibility in industries that you might not expect, even those that are not directly related to the degree studied.”
Follow in Alexander's footsteps
Are you interested in a career in the composites industry? Increasingly, the first choice for high performance aircraft, cars and boats, are advanced lightweight and corrosion-resistant composites. Be at the forefront with a course unique in the UK, which provides you with a grounding in mechanical engineering, and design and manufacturing skills in advanced composites materials.
You will develop a strong foundation in mechanical engineering principles and materials science. You’ll experience modern laboratory facilities for your core practical work. You’ll benefit from working on industrially relevant problems within composite materials and design of composite structures. You’ll also benefit from an optional 48 week paid work placement.