Josh Playle – BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate

Current employer: AECOM; Conclient Ltd

Current job title: Graduate Building Services Engineer at AECOM; Managing Director at Conclient

Current location: Plymouth

“The engineering course is quite diverse and there are modules on business and management which makes it well rounded.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

I’ve been running my start-up, Conclient, Monday to Friday, nine to five. It’s been a bumpy ride so far, but we’ve bounced back pretty well thanks to the great effort put in by the team: Jamie, Paul, Dave, Ben, Turk, and Vachha. I’ve also been to Germany for two weeks with the Exeter University Officer Training Corps (it’s open to Plymouth students as well), which was amazing.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

In the engineering world it would be running a start-up and doing my first bits of real-world engineering on placement last summer. In my army career (if you can call it that) I would say going up in Chinook and Sea King helicopters.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything at all. I didn’t do amazingly well in my first year of A levels, but I put in a shift to turn it round. I went on to get a first class honours degree, so if you’re reading this and you didn’t do as well as you had hoped for at A level, it’s not all over.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

I think the fact that the library is open 24/7, 365 days a year, is great. It’s nice to know that in the event of a degree related emergency you can fall back on the there being facilities available. Also, the careers and employability service run a thing called Hot Seat which is a job interview competition: that was a big help. There’s also a start-up business centre called Formation Zone which is awesome if you’re ever interested in entrepreneurship.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth?

In the first year there was a group based assignment to design and build a mousetrap powered vehicle and then race it against other teams. Our car was a bit temperamental; if it worked, it was great, if it didn’t, it crashed and burned. On our third and final attempt it ripped out a third place run. That was awesome because we were taking it really seriously due to our competitive natures.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

One of the many ways in which Plymouth helped to prepare me for the career challenges I’ve faced since graduation were the diversity of assignments we had to complete; there was everything from multi-disciplinary design projects to the usual lab reports and then out-of-the-box things like debating, presenting, and scenario based stuff like ‘what would you do if you were in this position at work?’ I found those abstract assignments the most rewarding.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

The engineering course is quite diverse and there are modules on business and management which makes it well rounded. Also, Plymouth itself is a nice place with great scenery and a good night life with plenty to do.