From University to the Working World: Engineering
Look at Daniel's blog to see how he’s been getting on here at Atlas Copco as a Design Engineer. He covers the reality of working in an office environment and find out what he has to say about working alongside Atlas Copco employees.
Reading time: 4 minutes (500 words)
Although I was nervous coming into a year-long placement, any worries I had were quickly dissipated by Atlas Copco’s great atmosphere and friendly people. Four months into my placement and I feel like a valuable part of the engineering team. I’ve been given real responsibility and fantastic opportunities to advance my University studies in CAD modelling, materials, product design, and many more.
Atlas Copco Systems design and manufacture bespoke industrial air compressors that are installed in some of the harshest environments on the planet, from sandy deserts to off-shore oil rigs. No two projects are the same, constantly presenting the team with new challenges. With the workshop where the compressors are constructed also on site, I’ve had the unique opportunity to see the projects I’ve worked on take shape in real time.
What was the recruitment process with Atlas Copco like?
I found the placement through my universities year-in-industry support network. I’d never heard of the company before, but a quick google showed the possibilities the placement might offer (I also found out that the company has a dinosaur named after it, the atlascopcosaurus).
After sending a CV and covering letter I was invited to an assessment day at the office in Hemel Hempstead. The day started with a tour of the site, including the workshop, followed by a group exercise to construct a tower from newspaper that could support a two-litre bottle of water. The intention of the task was not to see who could build the best tower, but to gauge our personalities and to see how well we worked in a team.
After lunch all the applicants had a one on one interview with the engineering manager, Steve McCarthy. It wasn’t what I expected from an interview, as it was more of a conversation about my life experiences and what made me passionate about engineering.
What is life like whilst on placement?
Atlas Copco takes a number of placement students, not just in engineering but in a multitude of roles. Seeing people of your peer group around the office is definitely part of Atlas Copco’s great working atmosphere. The HR team helped us all to get in contact before our placements started, and I’m currently sharing a house locally with two other interns, Luka and Fiona.
I have no regrets with choosing to do my year in industry at Atlas Copco and am excited to see what I will be involved with in the coming months.
What are you most excited about in your Engineering Systems role?
Knowing that the work I’m doing is of real consequence. I’ve designed parts in CAD that I’ve seen installed on machines, attended meetings where my opinion has mattered, and run tests on finished compressors that have been witnessed by the client.
Being involved in every step of the engineering process has also been incredibly insightful. From deducing customer requirements from the specification, to designing parts, ordering them, seeing them be installed on a machine and finally to testing the finished product.
These experiences are going to be invaluable after I graduate, and I don’t think I’d have gotten them anywhere else.