e2v graduate, Matt Fox

Matt is undertaking global high-end technology company e2v’s graduate scheme and is currently working as a junior applications engineer in its high performance imaging division.

Matt Fox Matt became interested in engineering thanks to an inspiring teacher at school. When it was time for university, he chose physics as it kept his options open for all engineering disciplines.

He left university with a well-respected, broad degree so he: “chose a graduate scheme as it’s a great way to start ‘funnelling’ yourself into your perfect job role and to experience areas of a business you wouldn’t have got to otherwise.”

Matt was actually very fortunate when it came to looking for a job. He was offered his current position very soon after graduating and was very happy, as it was his preferred choice.

E2v graduate scheme application process

His application process for e2v began with a telephone interview covering general HR questions about his character and his ability to work in a team. An assessment day followed, which consisted of a one-to-one meeting, a presentation of his final year project work and a group task meant to simulate how candidates behave in a meeting-type situation.

“The latter was quite unnerving as ten company managers watched us like hawks as we were doing it,” he says.

The first six months

Matt spent his first six months working in a brand new team developing microwave processing techniques - he was actually an IET Innovation Awards 2011 finalist for this work.

“It was varied work, ranging from thinking up test procedures and visiting customer sites and carrying out the procedures to analysing the collected data and then even presenting it to senior management. This is usually the job of three or four different people!

All a bit “James Bond”!

If that wasn’t varied enough, I’m now a junior applications engineer in our high performance imaging division that provides solutions to the space and defence industry. In my current role, I talk to customers and calculate costs for products/work packages by talking to the relevant people in our group and thinking technically into what goes in to deliver them.

“At the moment, I’m handling a number of enquiries one being a project that will put ten satellites in to low earth orbit and make it possible to photograph any point on the globe at any time. OK, it’s for agricultural purposes and not quite James Bond style, but still interesting right?”

The benefits of going on a graduate scheme

Matt is really enjoying his experiences on the graduate scheme so far finding his working life is varied and always interesting. He believes that it is the people that he works with that really make the difference however.

“The people make it a very enjoyable place to work. Everyone is so knowledgeable and approachable which makes for a great learning environment,” he says.

“Getting the chance to try out so many disciplines and types of work has been invaluable to me,” he continues. “It’s a fantastic way to experience areas of business and commerce that you wouldn’t get access to otherwise. A great example is my current role. I didn’t even know this type of role existed and probably never would have if I had just gone into a job!

“You also get plenty of training in softer skills that complement your degree and experience, all making for an impressive CV,” he adds.

Life after a graduate scheme

Matt is already considering where he wants the scheme to take him and he has a career plan in place. He wants to stay in engineering whilst moving towards a mainly customer-facing role as his permanent position following the scheme.

He signs off with the following advice to those considering the graduate scheme route.

“Graduate schemes are often as good as you make them. Be open to everything as you might find something you thought wouldn’t be enjoyable to be fascinating or even find something you didn’t know existed and get to try it out.”