Syed Hadi Ahmed

Technology Portfolio Placement

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Brunel University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • HVM Catapult

Describe your role and what it entails

As a Technology Portfolio Intern, I work closely within the Core Team and our CTO to manage ongoing projects and see how they fit together with our upcoming strategic goals. I have been helping colleagues across our seven centres in technology sprints, focusing on mapping our capability and determining the key areas of focus for the upcoming year. Beyond this, I have been aiding in implementing software applications to work more collaboratively across the centres and make more efficient use of company resources.

What have been your highlights?

One of the memorable highlights of this internship was attending the Digital Manufacturing Expo in Liverpool. I was invited to attend the event and view some of the key technological innovations of the Catapult and various other manufacturing companies across the UK. Ranging from supply chain innovation to digital implementation, this was a unique and wonderful event to attend. It allowed me to build connections with various institutions and businesses across the UK, develop my professional communication skills in a comfortable environment, and exposed me to the wide range of activities taking place within the manufacturing industry.

What have been your challenges?

The biggest challenge of this internship has been the steep learning curve associated with the company and its capabilities. Given their nationwide influence, HVMC is associated with every industry imaginable. The most difficult aspect of this was figuring out the company structure, how different teams operate, and how they come together to form the wider HVMC network. After taking in the scale of this company and their strength, the most challenging part became finding innovative solutions to their situations. This has allowed me to progress my critical analysis skills that I developed from university. By analysing in such a way, we can extract information or provide a new framework for thinking to bring the most suitable solution to our problems.

What have you learnt from your experience in the role?

From the beginning, I was taught the importance of knowledge, and how to apply this knowledge. I have learnt the infrastructure of this company and the various techniques used to manage such a conglomerate. Beyond this, a key part of the professional life is communication; how to do that effectively and clearly. This was an important lesson to learn as I was in constant communication with many colleagues for a variety of purposes. Beyond this, I have developed my skills in specific software for different purposes. Using these skills together allowed me to create effective solutions for issues.

What advice would you give to a student following in your footsteps?

For the upcoming intern, I believe this is an extremely unique opportunity, and to simply approach this with an open mind. Be prepared to come across unfamiliar tasks, and completely new systems that may not be common in other organisations. There will be a need to take initiative and clearly define purposes and requirements for activities. However, apart from all this, it is an extremely welcoming environment, where you will be encouraged to prosper. Asking questions is always encouraged, and you will always have help if needed. A great place to work and beginning honing your skills for future ambitions.

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