A summer placement kickstarted Chris's career at Jaguar Land Rover...
How did you get your job?
I completed a summer placement at Jaguar Land Rover after the third year of my engineering degree. At the end of this placement I was offered a position with the company, to commence upon graduation.
I love how I can use my brain and creativity to invent and design things that will have a real impact on everyone's day-to-day life
How relevant is your degree to your job?
It was absolutely essential. I use something I learnt on my engineering degree every day. The softer skills that you learn at university are also vital, for example, learning to communicate well can help you tell others about your brilliant ideas.
What are your main work activities?
My working day typically starts at 7.30am and can involve anything from working with designers in the design studio to testing the performance of products on the road. You work in a way that suits you best, whether that is having lots of meetings or getting your head down and solving some really detailed technical problems. Some of the most enjoyable days for me are going out to visit customers to understand their wants and needs from their cars; for others, it might be solving that tricky problem or inventing something new, but this job has it all, and that is what makes it so great.
How has your role developed and what are your main career ambitions?
There are so many opportunities at Jaguar Land Rover, and everything is moving so quickly, that I have decided to seize every opportunity as it comes, rather than try and plan anything too firmly. In the end it would be fantastic to be a vehicle director - the person who has the overall vision and responsibility for a new product - however, in the meantime, I just make sure that I am doing what I enjoy and it is challenging.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love how I can use my brain and creativity to invent and design things that will have a real impact on everyone's day-to-day life. No idea is too wacky, nothing is out of the question, and if you have the passion and can justify your idea, you can chase your ideas and dreams.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Working in such a big company means that there is so much going on, you just can't keep track of it all, and there are so many different people who are interested in what you are doing. This has many advantages but occasionally gets frustrating when there are so many people who need to be involved.
I really enjoy working for a company that makes such great products and has two amazing brands, Jaguar and Land Rover. Creating something that so many people know and love is quite a responsibility, but also incredibly satisfying seeing peoples' reaction when you tell them what you do.
Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?
If you are able to understand what customers want and then use your technical ability come up with amazing solutions to answer customers' needs, then you would love the automotive industry. Don't underestimate the importance of good communication and presentation skills though.
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