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From University to the Working World: Design Engineer

Look at Fiona's blog to see how she describes the atmosphere and working environment at Atlas Copco. You can also discover the best and most exciting part of her design Engineer role and as a Year in Industry student.

Reading time: 3 minutes (500 words)

Fiona Goursaud's professional portrait here at Hemel Hempstead
Most of our lives will be spent at work: it is therefore crucial for it to be an uplifting environment on a personal level. Atlas Copco is a comprehensive, smart and innovative company that seriously understands the importance of empowering employees to maximise efficiency, cooperation and confidence. Right from the start of my placement I was encouraged to explore the different tasks involved in the engineering role and find which resonate with my strengths and passion.


I have been working on projects from the technical, manufacturing, engineering and design sides. Navigating through different challenges that implement a wide range of skills is incredibly rewarding.

What was the recruitment process with Atlas Copco like?

People at work: man and woman hand shaking at a meeting
handshake - Atlas Copco Finance is YOUR partner
After applying I was asked to come to the office for an assessment centre which, to my surprise turned out to be extremely enjoyable and exciting. We were put in multi-disciplinary teams to solve a few practical problems with cost and time constraints. We also visited the bustling and impressive workshop where the units are put together. Finally, I was interviewed by Steve McCarthy and I instantly felt that the aim of employing a year in industry student was to establish a true exchange. And I was right: I have learnt and grown a lot thanks to my manager and this company, so the flow definitely was both ways.

To sum up, I found the recruitment process reflected very openly the reality of the placement work as it showed the company’s emphasis on cooperation and allowing employees to thrive by finding their strengths.

What do you like best about Atlas Copco?

Being trusted when taking responsibility on important projects. I have submitted part orders and had my designs used and delivered. My limited engineering experience and student status has never been mentioned - I am treated and dealt with like any other employee. The trust also shows in the freedom to navigate and chose to work on projects from different departments. Your level of involvement is up to you and that just encourages you to surpass your expectations and achieve more.

Not to mention opportunities for growth are constantly offered: My most valuable one was the 4-day long CAD course in Cambridge where I obtained an Autodesk Inventor certification with other professionals from around the country.

What has been the most exciting part of your Design Engineer role?

The design freedom is the most exciting part of my role. My favourite task was the design of a perspex panel to be fitted on the compressor to protect users and technicians from high voltage electronics. I was in charge of the whole process from modelling the spatial fit, designing the brackets, finding and ordering the fittings, and finally creating the required assembly drawings. In the process I found myself interacting with different engineers, technicians and responding to client queries. The cherry on top was to be able to physically follow the assembly of my parts for these bespoke air compressors.

Corporate Compressor Technique 2019 Corporate In the office Company values & knowledge United Kingdom