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Jemma Clerkin - Graduate Engineer - Electrical

What attracted you to a career in engineering, and to your specific discipline?

I wasn’t the usual engineering student who found mathematics easy and put mathematics and engineering together. I chose electrical engineering as I knew this was a sector that was starting to move forward in sustainable design. It was my chance to be part of the changing world, where energy saving and reducing the cost of energy bills was a must. For example a poor lighting design contributes to the biggest cost of overall bills to any building. Whereas now it’s about focusing on what type of lamp is used and creating the most energy efficient design for the building.

What was your interview and selection process with Rolton Group like?

The interview for Rolton Group was nerve racking at the start, but after a couple of questions it was more relaxed. My interviewer and now line manager, Matt Colebrook, gave an explanation of the company, what its aims were and its history. The questions I was asked were based around what I had studied in college and other general questions. I also had a second skype interview which was exciting as I had never taken part in one before.

Could you describe what your working day usually consists of?

The usual working day would start off with checking emails. Then a chat to the project engineer to see what my tasks are for the day. Once it has been decided what I am going to be working on, I would then start working through my list of tasks. This could vary from designing a lighting layout for an area within a building, to adding circuit references on drawings for lighting or small power and designing the sub mains cables for the final circuits in small power distribution.

Can you give any examples of projects you have been working on?

My favourite project that I have worked on so far was for the car company Rolls Royce. I had an opportunity to go down and visit the site with my line manager. This was a great learning experience in meeting the clients and seeing the site in real life. The project involved laying out new electrical ducts for carpark barriers that they were going to install for their new layout. It involved small power design using the software Amtech and AutoCAD. It also gave me an insight into access control as it was something I didn’t have any previous work experience on.

How would you describe the working culture in your office?

The working culture is relaxed and friendly. There is someone there to talk to if you need advice or a general chat. Even when it’s near a deadline for a project, there’s still time for a quick joke or story to be told. The office is open, bright and comfortable.

Has the company lived up to your initial expectations?

As I haven’t work in an office before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a bit nervous as I was starting a new job in a different environment and in a new country. From the initial start to now, the company has been great. Everyone at Rolton Group has been friendly and helpful.

What training and mentoring have you been offered/undertaken with Rolton Group and how have they supported you?

I am currently on the graduate scheme which helps me with my personal and professional development. I also work under my mentor who gives me a better insight on how to approach things. If I am struggling with how to progress further on a project, my mentor will give me advice and examples on how to work with the matter.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their career in the engineering/build environment industry?

The advice I would give would be to start with your interests, decide what you like most and write down your goals. Research different companies and check out the previous projects they have worked on. If you are interested in furthering your education while working, see if the company offers any support for this.