Case study

Infrastructure planning engineer — Theresa Yong

Theresa enjoys the flexibility of her engineering role and finds there are lots of opportunities to learn

How did you get your job?

I was aware of the area that I wanted to work in so I started looking at company pages to do a bit of research. When I found this job advertised with UK Power Networks, I applied through their recruitment page.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My subject was very generic; however the final year had a module or two that was specific to this field, these were the modules which helped the most.

What are your main work activities?

I manage the electricity distribution network around the Cambridgeshire area. My role is very flexible. I can be out of the office 50% of the time but I also need to carry out office work too.

The company provides a lot of learning opportunities and encourages inter-department learning.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

When I first joined as a graduate, I was enrolled on a lot of courses for the first few months. Then I went into my placement period until the end of the first year, which enabled me to go into various departments and understand their function.

In year two, I remained in one department as part of a year-long placement. Normally people remain in the role after the placement but you are free to apply to other roles across the business after that year.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like the flexibility of being able to work at home, the hands-on opportunities and the office work, which you control yourself.

The pay is also fairly good on average and it's generally a good field to work in as the ageing network is undergoing various innovations.

There are also lots of opportunities for young entrants and everyone is willing to help.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

There is a great responsibility which comes with the job and managing a whole area can be a challenge. If something goes wrong the consequences can be huge; from a couple of customers having their supply cut off, to something being blown up and causing a danger to the public.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

  • Engineering is pretty flexible. Do some research and show enthusiasm.
  • Try to get an internship as they can be very useful at the recruitment stage.
  • The two engineering companies I have worked with both provide sponsorships so look out for these kinds of opportunities.

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