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What's your background?

I'm originally from Inverness, but studied mechanical engineering in Aberdeen, graduating from RGU.

Why did you apply?

I applied because I thought the job with HW Energy would provide me with the opportunity to gain valuable experience. Also, Biomass heating sounded very interesting.

What have you learned?

I've had the chance to experience a number of different aspects of working in an engineering environment. There's been hands-on experience in production, and I've worked on producing detailed designs for review and approval by senior designers and clients. I have also had the chance to improve my communication skills when speaking to people in different environments. For example, ordering materials by phone, as well as explaining the type of work required to clients and council planners.

What did you get out of the training course that's part of the placement?

It was a great opportunity not only to meet people and make new friends I may have never come across, but also to learn new skills in a number of different aspects of my professional development. Interview or negotiation techniques, making a pitch to potential customers or just working with a group to complete a task to a deadline. Hosted in an excellent location, the course was presented in an enjoyable way that made subjects easier to take on board and remember. I would recommend going on the course to any graduate given the opportunity.

Any advice for other graduates?

Really, you will get out as much as you put into your placement. Make the most of it by actively pushing your employer for things to do. The more you do, the more you will learn which will allow you access to even more interesting opportunities.