Manoj Somaratne

System Test Work Placement Student

  • BEng Aerospace Engineering
  • Hertfordshire, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • ASM Assembly Systems

Why did you apply to work at ASM?

The main objective in a placement for me was gaining the experience working in an engineering company. ASM for me represented a passionate, versatile and a trend setting company which was my ideal employer. The engineering experience and innovative technologies that have been developed and utilised by ASM over the decades has earned its reputation of being the industry leader in its sector achieving various awards, and I relished the opportunity to work for such a firm.

Does the company, and your role meet expectations?

The fact that there is always an opportunity to learn in my role everyday enthuses me. The opportunity to work with different engineering departments on various projects has been amazing. I am a highly motivated individual and enjoy working in a multicultural environment, so I was thrilled to find people with different backgrounds and experiences working together in the same projects that I was assigned.

How have you found it, settling in to the company, and your role?

Throughout the first half of my placement, I was mainly acquainting myself with a range of tasks that involved working with different members of the team. I often found myself in a situation that required gaining additional skills, to complete these tasks efficiency and successfully against the standards set within System Test.

Luckily, I had the privilege of being mentored by my department heads. They made sure every doubt and question, however trivial it may have been, was addressed to the best of their capabilities. In scenarios in which they couldn't, I was pointed towards the appropriate personnel that cleared them all.

For the second half of my placement, I was primarily focusing to develop my project management and product development skills. In the short period that we have spent together so far, I have vastly developed my communication and presentation skills. The difference is evident by the confidence I possess compared to the beginning of the placement. This is major landmark that I will take away from this experience.

How much responsibility were you given in your role?

I was treated no different than the rest of the members in the team. It was gradual increase in responsibility from being given standards tasks to properly integrate my working principles and methods into the department strategies, to the most important on-going company projects. It was greatly evident that my opinions and skills were greatly valued and appreciated.

What has been the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge was performing my work to the standards set by the department and company. This meant undergoing vigorous training methods and working under experienced members, making mistakes and accepting criticism. ‘True learning starts when you accept that you don’t know everything about your subject area’.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The work ethic I learned in my department and the bust-your-head mindset has helped me to be more successful in the past year. As a student in university and as a future engineer at work, one thing that was persistent in me was my enthusiasm and inquisitive nature. This characteristic in me caused me to be curious and analytical about every aspect of my professional as well as my personal life. Therefore, the challenges that I face and overcoming them using logic and engineering methods to prove a point or validate something is the most satisfying factor.

Do you feel your experience will improve your graduate prospects?

I am very grateful for the opportunity ASM has given me and it will be a stepping stone to build up my career. I am not sure what the future holds, but I am sure that the experience and engineering knowledge that I have gained from working at ASM will be greatly beneficial to obtaining graduate jobs.

The greatest lesson I have learnt is ‘If you're in an impossible situation and just getting beaten down, keep after it, no matter what, you'll come out better on the other side’.

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