Louise Holliday

Industrial Placement - Engineering

  • MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • Loughborough University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • Cummins

What was the interview process like?

The assessment day was probably the most relaxed I’ve had. There was a group exercise, a tour and an interview with two employees including one of my managers. We also met senior management and had lunch with the current placement students.

How much responsibility do you have?

I’m surprised how much responsibility I do have. Cummins has allowed me to take ownership of some projects myself, with any support needed to achieve my goals. My projects have clear outcomes and benefits to the company.

What advice would you give to students applying for your role?

Do a lot of research into every company that you apply to. Not only is it a must for interviews, it’s really important that you make sure that a company is right for you before you commit a year to them. Life’s so much easier when you love what you do.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

The sense of achievement after completing a report or piece of work that I’m really proud of; knowing that the work I do isn’t just for myself and will be used by others. It’s especially nice when my work is recognised and appreciated by colleagues.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Every day is different with new challenges to overcome. I’ve been given increasing amounts of responsibility which means I’m always learning independently and there’s always something to keep my busy.

Describe your biggest achievement.

In my first few months I analysed valve wear in different material pairs. My report was then forwarded around the company. Just recently a colleague asked my about this analysis. I felt very proud to hear how my work is still being used.

How has this experience exceeded your expectations?

Whilst on placement I have been involved and sometimes led worthwhile projects that I know actually benefit the company, gaining experience and learning so much that now people value my opinion. What more could you want from a placement year?

What is the office atmosphere like?

I was surprised just how friendly and willing to help everyone is. It’s fantastic to be in an office surrounded by lots of people with so much experience and that they want to share it with you.

What activities are there outside of work?

A huge benefit with working for a large company is that I have lots of colleagues that want to socialise and have fun outside of work. Huddersfield hosts lots of events such as food and drink festivals has great transport links to some larger cities.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

The number of graduate roles is dependent on the financial market each year. Sponsorship opportunities are available during a placement student’s final year at university, and if a student is sponsored, they get first pick of the available graduate jobs.

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