Explore our entire archive of early career case studies, where newly qualified engineers and technologists share their experiences on starting work full-time.
From site engineer to managerial role: James has risen up the ranks at Costain since he graduated from his engineering and management MEng five years ago.
Lauren joined automotive parts manufacturer ElringKlinger in 2011 as a technical assistant. Just four months in she began shadowing the current applications engineer with a view to taking over his role.
A graduate civil engineer working for Atkins, Neil Cuthbert is part of a small team of structural engineers that support multidisciplinary design projects in the oil and gas industry.
Fay works as a graduate power engineer within the transmission and distribution division of Mott MacDonald’s power business and loves the variety the role provides.
By planning ahead Stuart walked into his first career job straight after university. He’s discovered that working in a consultancy means you get to see and be part of the cutting edge of engineering and product design.
James became a creative product design engineer at HORIBA last October (2012). A versatile role, he’s found himself working with product R&D and marketing as well as working on visualisations for large scale projects.
Originally wanting to go into mechanical engineering, Rebecca’s focus changed to the power sector after undertaking summer placements with Alstom Grid. She’s now gaining a wide breadth of experience at Frazer-Nash, working for its newly created Electronic Systems Analysis group. She loves life as a professional engineer and is already working towards gaining Chartered Engineer professional registration.
Graduate software engineer Michelle Barnett talks about her first year working as an engineer. She tells her job hunting story, shares her experiences of settling in during the first few weeks and the ups and downs of the job including overcoming programming problems, working on fun team projects and getting approval of her work from senior management.
Working in the instrumentation and control department of the Ceylon Electricity Board in Sri Lanka, Nadeera Madumal has stepped up to the challenge of fault finding and maintenance of the distributed control system, turbine and related auxiliary systems. This is his second full-time role in the power generation sector. He enjoys the work and is aiming to gain experience in order to migrate to Singapore or Australia.
Work experience prepared her well for working life, but even so, Naomi Mitchison still felt a bit lost when she started her first full-time job. Thanks to support from her team she's settled in well as a hardware engineer at Thales e-Security. She enjoys the variety her role brings, taking every opportunity available to her to do something new, such as meeting suppliers, touring the manufacturing facilities or sitting in on interesting meetings.
Working as a project engineer for Siemens in India, Ranamathan is currently in the third role of his professional career. His focus is on electrical automation and he is involved in everything from the tendering process through to design work on drawings, technical catalogues and manuals. Here he offers his advice on how young engineers can help themselves stand out and talks of his future career plans.
Bushair Ahmed's first graduate job is working as an electrical engineer for engineering consultancy WorleyParsons in the United Arab Emirates. Here he explains how the first weeks were tough, as he proved himself professionally, and what surprised him about working life. He talks about how he's grown personally and professionally and the great opportunities young professional engineers have.
Hunting for work during the recession, Shiva Pillay's summer work placement at a power utility helped him land a place on Transpower's graduate scheme. Rotating through departments has given Pillay a chance to try out a wide variety of roles and to pick up a number of new skills on the way. Support and guidance from senior engineers also made the move from university to workplace much easier than he expected.
Jia Tew Huang is a software engineer at Gemalto Singapore, working in research and development (R&D) for its telecommunication business. He began working here in 2008 after graduation and he shares what life has been like during the first three years of full-time work. The opportunities to work abroad, improve current skills and gain new ones meant that working life exceeded all of his expectations.
What's life like as the new guy on an IT graduate scheme? Sharif Alghowail, 25, shares his first experiences of working life. He talks about how the experience joining Thales was quite intense, how he was surprised at how relaxed people are at work and how much an employer trusts you with your own work and time. He also talks about becoming much more relaxed and confident now he's settled in and the training opportunities he's had to date.
Chris O'Shea followed up a recommendation from his professor by checking out EADS' stand at a local career fair. Although he had a masters degree lined up, he applied for the graduate scheme and the rest is history. He loves the variety of his work at Cassidian Systems. Currently technical lead on a military comms research project, the work is hard and the hours long, but very rewarding. Coming full circle he plans to further his education by completing a research degree whilst at the company.