Current employer: Frazer-Nash Consultancy
Current job title: Engineer
Current location: Burton-on-Trent
“Experience. Experience. Experience. It’s the only thing employers want, but they are not prepared to give it to you if it’s your first job. Placement years (years in industry) are so important: take up any chance you get, as often as you can get it.”
Tell us about your career path since graduation.
After finishing university, I had a lot of different interviews lined up with the likes of Samsung, NPL, ZF TRW, and Frazer-Nash Consultancy, to name but a few. These interviews were very successful for me, but I chose Frazer-Nash Consultancy as the best long term career path.
What was the most difficult thing you faced finding a job?
The multiple stages of interviews are always the hardest thing, as I found that they are both mentally and emotionally draining. Each different company would initially want forms to be completed, schedule telephone interviews, then a face-to-face interview, then another face-to-face interview on a different date on a different site… it can get very demanding, but it’s just something you have to battle through.
What, if anything, would you have done differently at university?
I’ve always been very committed and hardworking throughout my life, but I still very much enjoyed an active social life. I have now certainly learned how to balance work and play, whereas at the start of university I may have been too work focused, and I feel that I may have missed out on great potential there! However, maybe I wouldn’t be in my position now so I can’t complain.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Experience. Experience. Experience. It’s the only thing employers want, but they are not prepared to give it to you if it’s your first job. Placement years (years in industry) are so important: take up any chance you get, as often as you can get it, and employers will jump at the chance of employing you once the dreaded job searches loom.
I'm currently attempting to become an ambassador for Plymouth University because Frazer-Nash are one of many 'arrogant' companies that will only consider red brick universities as an initial filtering process for CVs. The only reason I was ever considered was because of the vast placement experience I have accumulated in the past. Although it should be noted that line managers, and other consultants working at Frazer-Nash also disagree with this filtering process. I plan to come back to Plymouth University every year to offer my own assessment on project day because if I recommend anyone to the company then they skip the initial filtering process and go straight into interview - I'm trying to break down the barriers from within! Plymouth University does produce some quality engineers, and I want them to flourish as much as I have in the early stages of my career.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Since joining Frazer-Nash I have learned that the main reason I was interviewed initially was because of my 18 month experience I gained at Oclaro, a fibre optics company based in the South West. I was never planning on doing one initially, but my tutor called me in and explained how crucial it was: he was not wrong.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?
Yes, from an engineering perspective. I think the University is beginning to establish a reliable and solid background across the engineering subjects and I think companies are beginning to catch on.
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