February 2013′s Graduate Profile of the Month is Christopher Russell. Christopher graduated, in 2011, with a BEng in Design With Engineering Materials. He is now working at Firth Rixson as a Process Engineer.
Where are you now?
I am currently working for Firth Rixson. Firth Rixson is a forging company with sites around the world. The company’s main market is aerospace. I am based at the Meadowhall site in Sheffield as a process engineer. A job as a process engineer at Firth Rixson means no working day is ever the same. I am required to think and implement things that improve the site’s forging process. This could be improvements regarding quality of parts or efficiency of production. Every new implemented idea is always expected to be data driven which means data collection and organisation is key.
How did you get there?
After my second year at university I applied for a summer job at Firth Rixson. This was a two month role as a quality engineer. I began by shadowing the current quality engineer then gradually became more confident to deal with issues alone. I then left the company for my final year of studies. Whilst at university I recieved a call from the technical director asking if I would like to come back to the company as a quality engineer. Two weeks into my job I was placed on the graduate course as a process engineer to further my learning.
What advice would you give to a student studying your subject at university now?
From my experience so far, employers want experience as well as a good degree.
If a sandwich year in employment is not for the student, I would strongly advise that a summer placement is the the best option to help secure a job after university. This will not only give them experience in a working environment, but also help the student decide what they want to do after university.