David is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate from the University of Southampton. He has recently completed a Graduate Mechanical Designer Internship with L.B. Foster Automation
In this blog David gives us a step-by-step account of his journey from new graduate to his first weeks on the job, in his graduate internship.
Despite studying engineering for four years, and being confident I wanted a design (and/or R&D) role within engineering, whenever I was asked what it was I actually wanted to design, I could never provide an answer.
Consequently, I spent the summer enjoying some time off and researching what exactly it was I wanted to do next. I applied to a number of graduate roles that I felt matched what I wanted, but the majority didn’t start until the following September. Anxious to not rest on my laurels and gain the engineering experience that I lacked, I turned my attention to finding a more immediate role, which is when I discovered Step.
After regularly checking the website for new opportunities, I found the role that would eventually become my internship. After updating and tailoring my application, I received a call from the Step team. A short chat later and my application was sent across to L.B. Foster.
A couple of weeks later I excitedly travelled to Nottingham for an interview. After a successful first interview I was invited to attend a second interview the following week and deliver a brief design proposal. Immediately after my presentation and a quick tour of the company, I was offered the internship; I started in a month!
Without any previous engineering work experience, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first day started with a meeting with my Line Manager, Paul, who once again took me around the company and introduced me to everyone. Shortly thereafter, I took up my place in the design office. The remainder of my first week was fairly quiet, which in hindsight was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to reacquaint myself with CAD software, work on some design modifications and technical drawings, sit in on design meetings and get used to the company’s methods and procedures.
Come my second week, I was set my first project: I was tasked with updating an old machine design, tidying up the machine’s CAD model, converting the old drawings to the company’s new templates, and modifying parts. As my internship progressed, my level of responsibility increased, until I was tasked with multiple projects, designing machine modifications to meet customer requirements, and arranging in-house manufacture of parts.
My internship allowed me to both develop my engineering design skills and gain an invaluable insight into the work of a successful engineering company. Overall it was a great experience, and I would like to thank L.B. Foster and Step for giving me the opportunity.