In School the Career Advisor suggested to look at job opportunities with WPD who were recruiting for Craft Apprenticeships at the time. She suggested that this may be an option based on my interests and academic skills, however I should aim to achieve a degree or higher level education in an Electrical based subject.
I went on to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering in Cardiff University, where I attained a scholarship from WPD through the Power Academy. As part of this scholarship I spent the summers working for WPD, experiencing a variety of the business sectors.
Having experienced working for WPD during the summer placements, I knew that this was a company that would allow me to utilise and develop those skills I had started to develop in University.
As a Substation Electrical Design Engineer my principal role is the detailed design of EHV substations. This involves specification and purchase of all the typical plant and apparatus that you would find in a substation such as transformers and switchgear. It also requires completing detailed drawings, including protection and control schematics.
A typical day could vary from specifying the requirements for a 132kV Grid Transformer to visiting site to ensure safety clearance distances are maintained prior to installation of new plant.
Each day provides a variety of work and the opportunity to continue progressing as an Electrical Engineer. I also get to work in a professional working environment with likeminded individuals.
The culture is professional, collaborative and helpful. As a company as a whole I have found people to be approachable and willing to offer their assistance where required.
There are lots of ways to be successful within WPD as long as you have the correct attitude, willingness to learn and are willing to take personal responsibility for an individual or shared task you will prosper.
WPD provided an 18 month Graduate Scheme, which allowed me to experience all of the major business sectors. During this scheme I also attended several courses both internal and external to the company.
I am now in a permanent role and I am being supported and striving to continuously develop through on the job learning and regular performance reviews.
I co-authored a companywide policy which aimed to reduce systems losses that will ultimately improve network efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. This is a live policy that is being implemented throughout the business.
My biggest challenge is being appointed to the role of a Substation Electrical Design Engineer as the role has such a vast range of areas that require specialist knowledge that I have not yet fully experienced. However, through continual on the job development with the assistance from my colleagues I will overcome these difficulties and become proficient.
WPD offer a wide range of job opportunities in a variety of fields including engineering, finance, procurement, IT and employee relations all of which have the ability to progress to a senior level. It’s an inclusive, merit based company which looks after its employees.