Working for Babcock International’s Marine and Technology Division, Winston’s place on the graduate scheme has allowed her to work closely with the Royal Navy, providing engineering support for both nuclear submarines and surface ships.
What’s your name?
Where do you work?
Babcock International Marine and Technology Division, based in Plymouth, Devon.
What's your job title?
Graduate mechanical engineer.
How long have you been doing that?
How did you get there?
I completed a BEng degree in mechanical engineering at Plymouth University after taking my A levels in maths, physics, computer science, biology and general studies. I had undertaken a year in industry during my degree at a local manufacturing company, which I learnt a lot from, however I felt that joining a company with an established graduate scheme would benefit my career more.
What are you currently studying?
I am not currently undertaking any formal studies however I have taken part in various internal training courses and have found that the company is very keen to further my training. I am also considering applying for a Masters degree to enhance my knowledge, to be of more value to the company and also to achieve the Masters level ‘Further Learning’ required for Chartership.
What's the work like?
The work is incredibly varied. On the Devonport site our main customer is the Royal Navy, to which we provide engineering support for both nuclear submarines and surface ships. We also build the Tamar class lifeboats and super yachts, undertake various design projects and have recently completed a contract assembling miilitary vehicles.
As part of the graduate scheme I have undertaken various placements which have given me experience in fields such as production management, project management, plant management, commercial, design, safety, health and safety and quality.
What are the people you work with like?
With around 4,000 Babcock employees on the Devonport site there is obviously a wide range of characters, however I have found that everybody is really friendly and helpful. The people I work with have a great deal of knowledge and experience and are very keen to help me learn through sharing this.
What's the best thing about the job?
For me the best part of working for Babcock is the diverse range of projects that you can get involved in and the shear scale of some of the projects. It is hard to explain the feeling you get when stood directly underneath a 16,000 tonne nuclear submarine!
What do you think you'll do next?
I am currently undertaking my last placement on the graduate scheme (within the Commissioning Department) and will therefore move into my first “Position of Responsibility” shortly. Next I hope to gain some experience within Submarine Fleet Time at Devonport managing small packages of work, or to undertake a concept design placement at one of the other Babcock sites in the UK.
I also hope to continue working towards becoming a Chartered Engineer.
Any advice to prospective graduates?
If you are lacking engineering experience I would strongly suggest a placement year. I feel that my year in industry helped me to get the job with Babcock because it boosted my confidence and meant that I had a lot of real projects and problems to discuss in my interview.