During his five-year engineering degree in Paris, Bryan took time out to gain automotive engineering experience through internships in the UK. This led to a job offer he could not refuse.
What’s your name?
Where do you work?
I work at Pod Point Ltd, a start-up based in London specialising in electric car charging infrastructure.
What is your job title?
I am a product design engineer.
How long have you been doing that?
I just started full-time in May, but I did an internship here a year ago.
How did you get there?
I came to London for the first time during the Olympic Games. At that time I was doing an internship in Warrington and I was visiting London for the weekend. I really had a crush on this city and on England in general. At that time I could not think of any job that would allow me to work in London – my engineering degree was focused on automotive, and the closest company I could think of was Ford or McLaren, sadly not based in London.
When I returned to school in France I began looking for a year long internship in the UK between my 4th year and my 5th year in order to improve my English.
As I was looking, I found this incredible advert about a small start-up based in London. It was too good to be true: the location, the mission, it was made for me! So I wrote my best cover letter and sent it over, which worked out well. It was a perfect way to get out of the academic environment, mature from real world experience, and come back to the final year with a better vision of where I was heading for.
What’s the work and day-to-day experience like?
When I started my internship at Pod Point I received a list of the tasks I would have to do. Looking at it, I thought it was more likely that I would be assisting someone else to achieve these tasks, but in the end I was the one in charge – and I’m glad for that as I gained some great experience.
I guess I could use a lot of words [to describe what it’s like]: exciting, stimulating, but the most important is probably multitasking! During my year here I’ve been an electrician, engineer, buyer, manager - basically anything that needed to be done. To be honest that is probably one of the things that I enjoyed the most!
How would you describe life as a working engineer?
I really love being an engineer and I’m happy to go to work every day. I feel like I am a part of the creativity of the company and I can work on my own ideas and systems that will help the company.
What is the best thing about the job?
I would say the responsibilities. I really feel like I can get involved in anything. In a big company you would probably have to ask ten different people to make a phone call, at Pod Point it is more about getting the job done as soon as possible. No one here is going to tell you how to do your job, so once again it’s all about being able to multitask and learn by doing!
And the worse?
I don’t have any bad memories of my time at Pod Point, the worst thing was probably that I had to leave at the end of my internship, it was really hard and I felt really frustrated! Now I’m back and ready for a new challenge!
What standout things have you got involved in during your time there?
During my previous time at Pod Point I was in charge of developing the new generation of our street product from the concept to the end of line production. It is so far the biggest project I’ve been involved in.
Is there any advice you’d like to pass on to those about to enter an engineering workplace?
Get as much knowledge as you can from your colleagues, don’t ever feel that you can’t do something, and be interested in everything.
Look at problems as new challenges to solve and keep you brain working all the time because that’s the way to constantly improve yourself.
What do you think you'll do next?
So far I am taking as much experience as I can from Pod Point and trying to develop my network.
Back in my third year at ESTACA, where I was studying in Paris, I took a course on entrepreneurship. Before returning to Pod Point, I was working on the software and hardware of my own project, first to improve on the skills I was missing, but also to be sure that I could make a prototype - something that would be needed to get investment.
I keep working on the ideas that I have got in my head, so maybe one day I’ll start my own business.