I initially joined WPD as part of the Power Academy program through the IET and Loughborough University. Having spoken to a few Western Power employees during recruitment events, I was amazed at the variety of roles available, from hands on to analytical.
Through the Power Academy, I had the opportunity to do a couple of summer internship with WPD and decided it was for me. I had no hesitation in applying for the graduate scheme after University.
As part of the Graduate role, there is a heavy emphasis on learning all about the business. No one day is the same.
For the first 18 months, I will be moving around the business to see what each department does and how they fit into the bigger scheme. The role is varied. I will be spending some time with our Network Services Group, learning new installation and maintenance, to get involved with what the future holds with our Innovations Team.
Everyone understands that we are all part of a complex mechanism and we recognise each other for the contribution we all make. It just simply wouldn’t work without each other.
The job satisfaction that you get from knowing that the work you have done may outlive you is the true essence of engineering.
The culture is very much that of camaraderie mixed in with a lot of expertise. If you want to learn anything, from theory to practical, there is a lot of knowledge about. All you need to do is ask and you will get everything from tried and tested methodologies to novel ideas. Your own safety and of each other’s is paramount to anything else. The investment made by the company in safety is exceptional.
A willingness to learn and thinking outside the box will get you far. There is tested method of working but we are living in an ever evolving world and need to keep up with its demand. This brings its own set of challenges and this is what will start your engineering mindset working.
We have a vast area that we cover, anywhere from Land’s End to Skegness in Lincolnshire. There are numerous depots and offices dotted throughout and there are always opportunities to move up directly within the department you are in or to move around the business and then move up. Personal development is always encouraged. If you are keen on a position but haven’t quite got the skills, most other companies would tell you to apply later or just simply reject you. Things are a bit different here. They will move you into the role and develop you to bridge the gaps in your knowledge. There’s no better way to learn something than by doing it.
I have recently just started my graduate scheme and I have already learnt a lot but still have a long way to go. During one of my internships as a Power Academy scholar, I was working within with the Engineering Design team. I started with no knowledge of a substation or ever having touched CAD. By the end of my 10 week placement, I was drawing the plans to scale for a real substation redesign along with standards required, transformer appraisal, switchgear selection, etc. They put you on real live projects and support you all the way.
There is so much involved with the industry, so many policies to know and engineering recommendations to include that it is easy to lose focus and panic. I was mentored into taking things into little chunks, understand how that fits in the big picture and then move on to the next one. I understand much more now, why things are the way they are and the reason behind them.
Don’t think twice, do it! With the way the industry is moving, there has never been a better time to join Western Power. Exciting times ahead!