How did you come to find yourself on the Spirax-Sarco Engineering graduate scheme?
I was studying Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Swansea University, which was a 4 year course, including a year in industry (YINI). I researched organisations offering YINI programmes and was attracted to Spirax-Sarco Engineering due to its global reach, breadth of disciplines and the fact it offered YINI’s the chance to attain a place on the graduate scheme should they perform well. Gladly I was accepted as a YINI and then offered a place on the graduate scheme following YINI completion.
What rotations did you do on the scheme and how has each benefited your development?
My first rotation was in Oil & Gas. I worked on a project to upgrade the CRM system to a bespoke one, which would accommodate the needs of the oil and gas business specifically. Working alongside software developers, we created a bespoke system which streamlined the sales process and is in use today. This gave me a great opportunity to cut my teeth in hands-on project management.
My second placement was with Watson Marlow as a production engineer. I was part of the team that developed the first collaborative robot in Watson Marlow which was fascinating. We worked out that approximately 200,000 Tube Clamps for the highest volume selling pump-head were being manually greased and spring dispensed per year, so the robot was designed to automate this process. It was a great test of my problem-solving skills and resilience! When things didn’t work, we had to go back to the drawing board for multiple rounds of trial and error! It is so rewarding to now see the robot operational and bringing business efficiency and cost savings to the organisation.
My third rotation was split across UK technical sales and projects. I learnt how to produce quotes following area sales engineer enquiries and provided customer support via the telephone – both technical and operational. This placement allowed me to understand the breadth of Spirax-Sarco Engineering products and their technical specification and application, which is critical to my role today.
My final placement was in the United Arab Emirates, working in the service department of Spirax-Sarco Engineering, based near Dubai. Initially I shadowed the team; undertaking and reporting site audits and developing internal tools for logging business development activity to automate as much of it as possible. As I came to understand the business development process further, I was given a territory and asked to go out on site visits, talk to customers and make enquiries in order to assess the market potential for Spirax-Sarco Engineering in that particular “patch.” I wrote a business plan from my findings and at the end of the placement was offered a permanent role as a Service Sales Engineer here in Dubai.
« There is so much variety and choice at Spirax-Sarco Engineering. The organisation really supports its employees.”
What is your current role and what does a typical day look like for you?
Currently I am a Sales Engineer based in Dubai and cover the South of UAE. In regard to my day-to-day, I always start the week with an administrative day! This involves planning my meetings for the week, reviewing my key account database and booking appointments accordingly. My placement as a Service Sales Engineer on the graduate scheme really helped as I developed an expanding contact database for key account customers. I target two site visits per day and depending on the findings of those visits, whether they have been through steam trap surveys, ‘walk the plant meetings’ or general client meetings, I will continue my follow up with those clients in order to maximise customer service and sales. In parallel, I produce quotes based on site visit findings and requests generated from the customer, and also collaborate with the solutions/projects team for further sales potential. It is a really varied role with no day being the same, as the UAE is a fast paced environment.
What would you say to anyone considering entering the graduate scheme at Spirax-Sarco Engineering?
I would advise them to do their homework on the placement opportunities available so that you can plan which departments you wish to work in during the scheme. We are a bit spoilt for choice, so if you have a general direction, you can build relevant blocks of knowledge throughout the scheme which will be useful in the role you finally settle in to.
What are you excited about for the future with Spirax-Sarco Engineering?
There is so much variety and choice at Spirax-Sarco Engineering. The organisation really supports its employees staying with the business in different geographies and roles and really pushes them to progress through the ranks. I was offered roles in both Canada and Dubai on completion of the UK graduate programme, which just shows the diverse international opportunities available at Spirax-Sarco Engineering. The organisation affords early and large responsibility to its employees which helps to accelerate the learning curve and the development of the individual.