This is part of the blog where we get you involved. Tell us your stories and experiences and we will include them to help inform others.
I’m Ray, 23 years old and work in engineering.
Engineering wasn’t my dream career choice when I was young. I always wanted to be a pilot, living a glamorous life and flying from country to country. During sixth form, I put endless hours of research into what I had to do to pursue my aspirations of being a pilot. I quickly learned that this dream is even more unrealistic when you’re black, as often you don’t have the funds (which can exceed 100k) to pay for the training. I pushed that dream to the back of my mind and decided to pursue something more easily attainable.
I was good at maths and science, which left me with a career choice of medicine (what can only be described as an African mum’s dream career for her son), and engineering. Since medicine wasn’t in my reach, I decided to be a mechanical engineer. That way, even though I couldn’t be a pilot, I could still be involved in the process and design of making an aircraft. Studying engineering was enjoyable, but it was nowhere near as exciting as seeing a product go from a concept to fully finished and tangible. That’s always the best experience for me and my favourite part of the job.
I have only been in my current role for a year as I started it straight after university. Therefore, I have yet to go through any serious trials and tribulations…but it has definitely taken hard work and determination to progress to the role I am in now. I believe that everyone goes through a challenging period in their career that defines them as a person, and sets up their goals for the future.
Where do I see myself in the future? We’ll I’ve set myself a personal goal of managing director by the age of 30, which is extremely hard to achieve in a world where the average age of an MD is 40. However, I’m hard-working, determined and optimistic, so I believe it can happen. My ultimate end goal is to be the COO of an established engineering firm whilst being the CEO of my own small engineering consultancy firm.
Hi My name is…
Well for starters its not slim shady, haha just kidding.
I’m Lex and I’m an Engineer, an Electronics & Telecommunications Engineer to be exact. To be honest I’m quite convinced I was always destined to become an Engineer.
So, I’ve graduated got my degree given my African parents the satisfaction to proudly gloat that; “Oh my Son is an Engineer”. A line they’ve probably been anticipating to say since the day I started my course lol..
And now to my current status after submitting numerous applications and receiving that famous “Unfortunately on this occasion… or I regret to inform you following careful consideration…” (Ahh Do me a favor and spare me with all of that English I beg) line multiple times I was fortunate and blessed enough to attend a few interviews and bagged myself a graduate electronic engineer role with a very good company.
I’ve been in my new role just over 2 months now, and I’m loving it so far, it’s not to hectic yet as I’m in what they call the “Business Familiarisation” stage of my role where I spend a couple of days to a week with different departments and teams across the company, which I think is great as it allows me to get a full and engaged idea into how the company operates. Basically they’re easing me in.
There’s been a lot of; “Hi my name is…”, tea/coffee drinking, oh and let me not forget a bunch of “Haha’s” at really dead jokes all in the process of meeting and working with new people, senior engineers, managers etc. But I’m using this time to network and gain as many contacts as I can really as I know you can never have too many contacts especially for someone who is working towards becoming a Chartered Engineer… Got to make the best out of a situation you’re in right?
In my short career in finance, I’ve come to understand two things: continuous training is key and things can go stale quick.
Working in finance it is important to be engaged with what the company does as it helps you with your motivation. One issue I’ve encountered is the importance of company culture affecting my performance. Both these things help prevent our job going stale, as finance is very process heavy with little room for creativity a strong culture can be the make or break for wanting to come in to work.
In terms of training, short courses and online tutorials are your friend to help expand your skill set, while professional qualifications take your career to a new level.