Jon, Service Engineer, Rolls-Royce

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    Jon

    Engineering Design (MEng 2011)

    Service Engineer, Rolls-Royce

Since leaving Bristol…

I graduated in June 2011 and already had a graduate job lined up to start in mid-September 2011, so I took the opportunity to go on an extended holiday round China, Thailand, Lao etc. as it was the last chance I'd get to have more than 2-3 weeks away in one go.

Having already worked at Rolls-Royce the previous summer, I received a direct offer without having to re-apply or re-interview, which was a great relief during my final year project/exams. I did have a career path in mind - to try to get a range of varied experience before graduating. This was for two main reasons:
1) to make it easier to get a job at all
2) to make a more informed decision about the type of work I wanted.

I do think it's important to have a career path in mind as it makes you aware of key 'milestones' and makes you plan, but don't expect it to pan out as you expect - grab opportunities when they appear!

In my current job…

I have just started a new role as a Technical Team Lead for the Service Engineering team supporting global Lynx helicopter operations. The UK MoD are going out of service soon and so we face a big challenge to continue the same level of support without our closest customer.

Previously I completed the 'Engineering - Professional Excellence' Graduate Training Programme at Rolls-Royce, which basically serves to train future specialists in technical disciplines. The scheme consists of six self-arranged three-month placements around the business to give you a breadth of experience. After this time you finish the grad scheme and start a substantive role somewhere within the business. It's a very well established scheme with lots of flexibility, and often leads you (eventually) to senior management or technical positions in the company.

Having a UoB degree…

My current job, and probably most technical job at Rolls-Royce, requires an engineering/technical degree as a pre-requisite. But on reflection that is more so individuals have the right transferrable skills. I don't think any of the theoretical/technical content from my degree has been directly relevant to my job so far, but my course does have formal links with a number of employers and this helped to make me aware of Rolls-Royce as a potential employer and inspired me to apply for an internship.

Hints/tips…

The most important piece of advice I could give for getting a job in engineering would be to get industrial experience before the end of your degree. It's invaluable in interview and means that you can talk about real engineering problems that you've solved. It also means that you know what to expect when you get into a professional workplace and you can be more productive more quickly after starting - a great advantage!

If I had to start again I don't think I'd have done anything drastically differently; I would just make sure that I got as much varied industrial experience as possible at every opportunity and take every chance to speak to employers and hear what they have to say.