Due to the nature of the work, no two days are ever the same and so it’s a bit difficult to describe a typical day. You’re constantly switching between being in the office working on whatever projects the department has going on or being out on-site seeing these projects in all their complexity in the real world. At the moment, I shadow and assist with anything that the Senior Engineers are working on.
What do you think are the three most important skills/ attributes to succeed in your career area?
The ability to think outside the box
Good teamwork and interpersonal skills
Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past?
After finishing school, two friends and I were fortunate enough to be able to do our ski instructing qualifications and ended up working out in Niseko, Japan for a year, which was absolutely incredible. My plan was to return the following year and continue to do ski seasons for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go to plan so I decided to give university a try. It was a bit of a stab in the dark as I really didn’t have a burning desire to study anything inparticular, but Mechanical Engineering seemed interesting, so I chose that. Soon after starting, I realised that I’d picked the perfect degree and four years later, I graduated with a Masters in it. That said, it certainly wasn’t an easy ride. There were lots of all-nighters and sleep-deprived library sessions but it was the best four years of my life and was definitely all worth it.
What do you love most about working in your career area?
Definitely the varied nature of the work. I’m always learning something new so it’s always interesting, and there’s never nothing to do! I also really enjoy working in a team, which is something that is ubiquitous within the field of engineering. It is very rare that you’ll ever be on your own, scratching your head at what to do – you can bounce ideas off each other which is reassuring and builds your confidence.
Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
I am very early on in my career so I can’t speak from much experience, but personally I am yet to encounter anything really negative about it. There are of course things that I enjoy more than others, but that’s just the nature of the work. If you’re considering a career in engineering, expect the unexpected and just be ready to deal with whatever is thrown at you!
What training / quali cations did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
The route I took was a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. The eventual goal for most engineers is to become fully chartered and these two qualifications are the pre-requisites. I did these prior to securing a job, but this isn’t the only way to do it. Some companies offer employment and training and will then assist you with obtaining the necessary university qualifications.
Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
To someone considering a career in engineering, whether that be at the Department for Growth, Housing and Environment or any other organisation, I suppose that the only thing I would say is that you’re unlikely to get much job satisfaction if you’re lazy. The enjoyment comes from seeing something through from start to end, whatever that may entail and being able to stand back afterwards and proudly say ‘Yeah, I was part of the team that designed and made that.’