A day in the life of a Graduate Engineer

26th November 2019

There are many routes into a career in engineering, and we’ve already written about why we love having apprentices at Owben. 

Recently, we sat down with the newest member of the Owben team to explore another path into the industry – going through university and becoming a graduate engineer. 

Erin Hope recently joined Owben as a Graduate Engineer after graduating from Newcastle University with a 2:1 in BEng Mechanical Engineering with Honours and is making fantastic progress. 

We caught up with Erin to discover what a day in the life of a graduate engineer is like.

Photograph headshot of Graduate Erin

How have you found your first couple of months at Owben?

Since starting, I’ve developed a lot of skills and gained some new ones too. I’ve improved my CAD skills massively, learned about the process a project goes through from start to finish, and started to organise my own projects.

I feel like I’ve grown a lot as an engineer since starting at Owben and feel much more confident in my role.

Are you able to apply what you studied to your work?

Absolutely. It’s great to apply the things I studied in university to real-life scenarios, which has helped me gain a much better understanding of the engineering industry.

For example, I’ve applied a lot of the mechanics I learned at university to the designs I’ve created at Owben, such as calculating and using Inventor to analyse the bending strength of a shaft to make sure it was suitable to use in a track lock.

What do you do in a typical working day?

First thing on a typical working day is checking my emails. From then I will usually be at my desk creating 3D models on Inventor, producing engineering drawings, attending meetings with other engineers, liaising with suppliers, or completing quotes for potential clients. 

However, occasionally I will have a full day out of the office, supporting John on a practical job on- or off-site. 

What do you like most about your job?

I’m a very organised person, so the thing I like about my job is making sure all of the projects I’m working on are on track, progressing and developing as they should be. 

How supportive have the team been and how are they helping you develop your career?

Owben have been very supportive and the team are always willing to lend me a hand when I’m not too sure on what to do. 

John has been a great support from day one – teaching me the process for running a project and giving me guidance when I need it, whether that’s applying the finishing touches to a design or placing orders for a project. 

I feel like John is helping me develop excellent skills which will eventually allow for me to run my own projects and progress my career as an engineer. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in engineering?

My advice would be to get as many work placements as you can so you have a range of experience, and go on as many interviews as you can because they’re all learning opportunities. 

Think about what kind of engineering you want to study but don’t rush, take your time and make sure it’s right for you.

Erin has hit the ground running and already been a huge asset to the team in her short time here. 

If you’d like to join her as our next Graduate Engineer – or find out what other roles we’re looking for – then contact us to find out more. 

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