There is a deep level of interdisciplinary work at Cambridge Consultants and this enabled me to get my foot in the door with multiple project teams when starting as a graduate. In my placement year at university, I did an internship at CC and it gave me an enormous insight into the workplace culture, the number of opportunities to get involved in, and most importantly learning how to further expand the boundaries of innovation. I have been a mechanical engineer for 18 months now, so let’s dive into some of my highlights so far.
In the mechanical and design group, everybody is very passionate. Whether you’re working on simulations or designing parts in CAD, the working environment here is exceptional. We have so much fun collaborating and engaging on an array of innovative projects across different departments and groups.
No week in my job role is the same. I spend roughly half of my time in a lab, where my day can be split between being in a wet chemistry lab, building parts in the workshop, or testing rigs. I love the fact that I am never glued to a computer screen for a long period of time, and this is down to the various opportunities there are here. There’s so much support from colleagues around the business and when being a graduate, it is valuable to gain knowledge from others. I am constantly coordinating with other people outside of my department and it’s great to work with such a variety of team members.
I have been involved in a wide range of projects since my return to CC as a graduate. From modelling a bioreactor to setting up new 3D printers or designing mechanical rigs, my potential as an engineer unlocks more each day. I have particularly enjoyed getting stuck into a specific project that involved de risking an automated chemistry platform. I was able to carry out a range of tasks such as writing test plans for characterising powders, evaluating equipment and designing hardware and layouts. I had the chance to meet the client for this and travel to Germany to visit the supplier which was an incredible experience. All of this was possible with the encouragement from my team.
As my time at CC has evolved, I have been throwing myself into outreach projects. Some of this has included arranging the bring your child to work day which was a huge success, an outreach event at the science centre and the early careers bonding day. The tech scholar day was an inviting way for students who don’t normally have the chance to work together, to get into small groups, participate in the challenge and most importantly have fun.
May's early careers outreach work
What is it like to be a graduate at CC?
After my internship, I was able to interview for a graduate mechanical engineer position which I successfully completed and accepted an offer. This took away a significant amount of job-hunting stress and allowed me to focus more on my engineering design final project in my last year at university. Before joining CC, I had the summer to go traveling and went to Mexico for two months. I was able to finish my yoga teacher training and became a qualified yoga instructor, as well as eating my bodyweight in tacos!
Joining full time as a graduate was daunting at the beginning, but by day two I already felt settled into my team and hit the ground running. Everybody is welcoming and is always willing to make the effort to spend time and get to know you. As a group, we always eat lunch together in the canteen or go for a stroll around Cambridge Science Park. From a teamworking aspect, if there is an issue that you need solving, then there are lots of passionate people around that are happy to give you a helping hand. All of this highlights the incredible collaborative culture we have here.
You can get to know plenty of other people around the company by joining in with social club activities. My family live in Ireland, so I relocated to Cambridge when starting at CC. Making friends inside and outside of work was important to me, so being able to participate in organising events was a great way for me to be social. I have really enjoyed helping the social club with certain activities and have so far assisted in planning the summer party, brewery tours, cork and canvas night and lots more.
As a graduate, the interview process can seem intimidating at the start, but rest assured it isn’t as scary as it looks. My honest advice would be to try and take it all in. Use the experience to show your enthusiasm and knowledge in the job you are interviewing for. Make sure you have as much fun as you can, learn from the people that are interviewing you, and remember that nobody is trying to catch you out.
If you are looking for a graduate job alongside a friendly, innovative group of individuals, then take a look at our graduate vacancies.