Hi, my name is Patrick and I am a current 1st year graduate on the Engineering line. I studied Digital Media Engineering at DTU, finishing in August 2016, so I am fresh off the university block and this post mainly sums up my experience on the Engineering Graduate Programme so far which has started in Quality.
The Engineering line was only introduced in September 2016, so me and my fellow engineering graduate Gustav, are the first two graduates to partake in this newly established specialist line. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to not only tell you a bit about my experiences but also delve into how a specialist line fits into a broad graduate programme and the differences and similarities this has with the other lines we offer.
My first rotation has been in the Quality department, which was completely new to me when I started ‘way’ back in September. Primarily, Quality has a focus on ensuring we develop our products and services to meet requirements and customer expectations for safety and effectiveness and therefore is involved in the entire development cycle and much more. Luckily for me I joined Quality in a period where the spotlight was shone directly on the department due to an FDA inspection – An inspection that determines the company’s compliance with regulation in the US. This was the first time in the company’s history that such an inspection had happened, so it was all hands to the pump to ensure there would not be any problems. This has meant a few things for me:
- I needed to hit the ground running because an extra pair of hands was like gold dust when helping in particular tasks.
- Adaptability was key in understanding FDA related material.
- There was no time to ease my way in, the only option was the ‘deep end’ and intuition would determine how fast I could swim.
Now working hard, being adaptable and using your initiative sound like capabilities sometimes all too thoughtlessly wrote on a CV, yet it is precisely what my first few months was built up on in Quality. It is from that perspective that no matter what graduate programme you would like to do, there are inherent attributes that will help you succeed.
I have already been asked contacted by a number of candidates who want to apply for the Engineering Graduate Programme, asking me about the type of profile that would suit best. Unfortunately there is no right answer to this question and the key word for me is adaptability. Therefore I would encourage all engineering backgrounds to apply, as wether you are an electrical engineer, mechanical engineer or design and innovation graduate this does not necessarily determine if you would fit the programme or not.
That being said, what particularly differentiates the Engineering Graduate Programme is the combination of strong technical competencies and business understanding needed to drive projects on a daily basis. Broad technical understanding will help you quickly come up to speed on the vast array of areas and in my instance that was inclusive of software quality, hardware reliability and supplier quality. In this situation, having an understanding of how this fits into the business as a whole will only be to your advantage. An example of this is a project I recently worked on was about the connectivity of our instruments and accessories. We are working at the forefront of innovation in connecting our hearing instruments to the world we live in, thus bringing exciting challenges. This project involved interacting with a variety of stakeholders and taking into account technical, end-user and management perspectives. A high-level of pro-activeness was key in scoping the project and gaining information from colleagues all across the company. This provided me with a fantastic opportunity for meeting a large number of people across departments and it was clear there was a strong need to translate the meaning behind technical issues and show the capabilities of leading projects with your intuitiveness. This epitomises the Engineering Graduate Programme for me, lying finely balanced between areas such as technical understanding, stakeholder management and communication.
Last but not least, the Graduate Programme looks for top performers within their field of study. Therefore expect that your capabilities will be acknowledged and that opportunity will be given to work on projects that suit your experience. I personally have a background in UX and naturally that was considered in early discussions of appropriate projects. That being said you will also be encouraged to take responsibility for a number of projects where you may have no prior knowledge. This is a key part of the programme in order to gain the holistic overview that is regularly mentioned. Last but not least, the Engineering Graduate Programme is still young and management are very open for listening to what direction it should go, so it is an exciting time to help this part of the programme evolve. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time in Quality so far and I am sure you would to.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a mail and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.