The originally article was published by Katie Wardle

May 2012’s Graduate Profile of the month is Mr Matthew Ebenezer. Matthew gained a MSc in Automotive Systems Engineering in 2011 from Loughborough University and has gone on to work for Cummins Turbo Technologies as a Graduate Design Engineer.

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Your background:

Prior to joining Loughborough, I was a Mechanical Engineering graduate from BITS Pilani at the Goa campus in India after which I gathered valuable work experience for two years at Robert Bosch in Diesel Systems. I worked as a Process Planning Engineer in Manufacturing where I was involved in various projects many of which were improvement and problem solving.

I also underwent training and certification to become a Six Sigma Black Belt. During these two years, I did not give up my passion for riding motorcycles. I owned and maintained two classic bikes during this time. The reason I chose Automotive Systems Engineering  was due to my sheer passion for the subject and automobiles and I intend to make my career in this field alone. Loughborough was amongst the top five Universities in the UK offering this course and I particularly liked the course content and structure and that is why I opted for this university.

Where are you now?

After having successfully completed my Master’s degree, I find it sufficient for the time being to put any form of further education to the side.

I currently work for Cummins Turbo Technologies in Huddersfield as a Graduate Design Engineer. The title of the role suggests what my job profile is. I personally was not interested in going through an initial rotation in the company merely because of my prior work experience and the fact that I wanted to contribute right from the beginning. The role I applied for also required the same. So, I assume that this was one of the reasons in favour of me getting the job. I enjoy this post and I strongly respect the work culture and treatment of individuals. I see a wide range of opportunities within this organization for me to further develop my career and hone my skills.

How did you get there?

Ever since my school days, I knew I wanted to become an Engineer and as time went by it became more evident to me that I wanted to pursue Mechanical and/or Automotive Engineering. This is what made me pursue the degrees that I did.

After under-graduation, based on discussion with experienced professionals and my project guides, I decided to gain work experience for two to three years in the same field. I particularly wanted hands on experience on the shop floor with machines and there was no better place to gain this than in Manufacturing in an Automotive industry.

Due to my keenness in automobiles, I was sure of wanting to work solely in this industry. During the careers fair at Loughborough University, I interacted with representatives of various Engineering firms. I made applications to various posts in different organizations that interested me. For Cummins, I  was guided to apply online which I did immediately. A couple of months later, I was called for an assessment centre which involved an hour long interview and a group activity followed by a presentation. I had the offer in hand the very next day.

Where are you going?

My aim is to gain experience in different technical functions of the organization, use my knowledge and passion of Six Sigma whilst doing so and progress up the ladder in the management hierarchy.

What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?

The two main aims of a student at university are to graduate with flying colours and have a job by the time they graduate not forgetting the fun, recreation and relaxing factor. If these boxes are checked, I doubt any student would want to go back and change or rewrite certain things during university days. I am ever so thankful to the Lord Almighty for enabling me to check off these three boxes during my post graduate study.

What advice would you give to a student studying your subject at university now?

The course is professionally structured and delivered. It is very interactive with Professors easily available and accessible to clear doubts and guide the students. The projects offered are interesting, challenging and demand high levels of commitment.

Many of the projects involve a practical approach and spending time in labs and working physically and performing tests on vehicle or vehicle components. There is enough time for an in depth study of each module and fair deadlines for course works.

There are lots of resources available in the department for the students’ usage. Professionals from the industry deliver a part of the lectures in each module and this gives an understanding of how the knowledge gained in the class room is currently being applied in the real world which is a very valuable aspect to the learning.

My advice would be to utilize all the help and resources available. Take this opportunity as a positive learning experience and use this to build your career and especially in applying for jobs in the Engineering sector in the UK.

Additional information:

For job applications, put in your best efforts right from now . Utilize all the help and guidance from the Careers and Employability Centre to the maximum possible extent in preparing CVs, filling in application forms, answering competency questions and preparing for interviews.

Make a list of companies – it can go even up to 30 or 40 companies. Putting in applications in the Autumn term is a good idea since the pressure from academics is not too heavy.  Keep trying and persist with your application if you have not heard for a long time.

Use the internet to find out more about the Assessment Centres and interview questions previously asked for companies that you are interested in pursuing your job application.