Mel Courtney, Site Manager, Kingspan Environmental Containers
Degree subject MEng Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Job title Site Manager
Employer Kingspan Environmental Containers
I always enjoyed technology and science at school so engineering seemed a natural choice for me. My industrial sandwich year gave me experience of practical problems and ways of finding solutions.
I joined my employer's graduate programme as a Process Engineer at the headquarters of the Environmental Division, providing input for the company's engineering activities while considering production efficiency and product quality. A year later, I was offered the role of Site Manager.I realised that my company was the right one for me during the selection process. It was very informative and I was able to meet senior directors – I felt they were the type of people I wanted to work with.
As Site Manager, I am responsible for employing people to work on site in the factory. My team focus on all areas of operations to improve competitiveness and efficiency. I report monthly to divisional management and have regular meetings with my team to communicate our key performance indicators and targets. I also propose new projects and have to give financial justification for my plans. To some extent, I was thrown into the deep end but the support and experience of the people around me was a great help as a young management trainee. I would like to continue to gain experience and hope that my role in the company progresses over the next few years.
Don't sit in your comfort zone when thinking about interviews and assessment centres. When you choose a company, ask yourself where you will be in five years' time. Once you have found a job, don't be afraid to ask questions – the more you get into the job the more you have to learn.