Jack Patterson, age 24, is six months into the British Engines Graduate Scheme after studying Mechanical Engineering at Sunderland University. He tells us about his current role at British Engines Company CMP Products and his future career plans to become a chartered engineer.
How did you find out about the Graduate scheme?
I became aware of the British Engines Graduate Scheme after completing my placement at university, the company I worked for manufactured machinery for CMP. The application process for the graduate scheme was fairly straightforward, after sending in my covering letter and CV; I met with the HR manager who invited me for a second interview. I wanted to join the business because the dynamic manufacturing environment interested me; I believe that it presented a lot of scope of work for graduates to get involved in.
What are your responsibilities?
I was first placed in the quality department of CMP for six months, supporting the department in beginning to implement the Lean Six Sigma programme and quality strategy. I’ve since moved onto the technical department, which is where my current role is. The technical department involves product design and development, which I have taken a keen interest in. I hope to undertake a placement in the automation department next, which is an area of engineering I have experience in and enjoy. I like the idea of completing placements across different departments, as I would like to build relationships with people from different job roles and gain experience in all areas. My current responsibilities involve overseeing a project in which I need to organise the testing of the cable cleats product range to achieve certification in Canada.
What do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy working with the other engineers at CMP, growing my technical competency daily. I also enjoy working with people from across the business; everyone is very knowledgeable about their own discipline and more than happy to support graduates with queries.
What do you find most challenging?
The most challenging thing for me is capturing everything when working in such a big factory. I sometimes struggle to fully understand how my design changes will affect the different stages of the production of new parts. Luckily for me there are very talented and experienced engineers on hand to review my work and put my mind at ease.
Are you studying for any qualifications?
I’m working towards becoming a chartered engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). After speaking with the group learning and development manager, a meeting was arranged with the IMechE to discuss how to achieve chartership. Alongside the workplace learning, I will also complete three further university modules that can add value to the work I carry out at CMP.
How long is the Graduate scheme? What other roles will you have experience in during the scheme?
The graduate scheme runs over 18 months, during this time I will experience working in the quality, technical and automation departments. The departments I work in depend on the business needs, but my manager is really supportive of what I want to achieve.
Where do you hope to be in your career in 10 years?
Within ten years I hope to become a chartered engineer with IMechE and be competent enough to handle and deliver large scale projects, with the view to work my way up to become a manager.
What advice would you give to a student thinking about applying for a graduate scheme?
I would definitely recommend applying for a graduate scheme. Tailor your application towards the business and draw on the skills you have. Be confident, open and enthusiastic throughout.