#GradStories Emelia Cole, Graduate Process Engineer at Jacobs Engineering

13 Oct 2023, 08:33

Meet Emelia, a Graduate Process Engineer at Jacobs Engineer in Dublin. In this video she describes what a typical day looks like for her, what skills she needs to be successful in her role and also what advice she has for those wishing to pursue a similar career!

What are your main tasks in a typical week?

A typical day at work for me at Jacobs would be working with a multi-disciplinary team on a project for a client where we're trying to produce a drug. I tend to work with the process team and I work on technical drawings and I will ask questions about what needs changing on them and I will change that. It will then go for a check-in procedure and we'll issue that out. I also assist with the safety side of things, so we'll look at a process, look at the risks and we’ll do a hazard identification. I also keep track of equipment in the process, you might need to add things or take away things that you no longer need and each piece of equipment has different requirements.

What skills do you need to be successful in this role?

I would say the main skills needed in this kind of job would be critical thinking and good time management because you've got a lot of tasks and it's important to learn to prioritise.

You should be able to critically think about a problem and be able to take on criticism because sometimes you will think you've produced something and it's fine and then you'll get about 2o comments on it. It's okay because at the end of the day you're learning.

How did you get into your job?

I studied chemical engineering at the University of Nottingham back in the UK and I did a placement year in water treatment. During that time, we were encouraged to watch a lot of webinars and I watched a webinar presented by someone working in pharmaceuticals at Jacobs. I'd always wanted to do pharmaceuticals. So, I added that person on LinkedIn and my final year of university they said they were hiring for graduates and so I got in contact with them, had an interview and then got the job at Jacobs.

What advice would you give to a new graduate?

If you are studying chemical engineering, there are a lot of generic skills like drawings and calculations and safety that you can apply to any process and you can develop the pharmaceutical knowledge as you're working. I would also say a really important thing to do at university is to ask questions and also ask your lecturers and peers and potential alumni how they got into their roles. You learn a lot from them and their past experience.

How have you adjusted to working from home?

Jacobs encourage graduates to be in work around three days a week. I personally prefer going in just because it's quite nice and I'm quite a social person. I quite like to be around people, so I go in four days a week and then work from home one day a week. Hybrid working is very advantageous in terms of the fact that if you have got something you need to quickly do after work, if you're starting from home, it's a lot more flexible.

For a graduate it's very beneficial to be at work with other engineers around you but I would say as I get as I've gotten busier, that extra hour in the morning that you'd save on traveling is so important because you've got that time to just sit and work. I would say the busier I get the more I appreciate hybrid working.

What do you love about your job?

The opportunities I've been offered at Jacobs and everyone that I work with have been great. I've had the opportunity to travel to Denmark and meet people there. You learn so much about how other teams work, different work cultures in different countries and things like that. I'm also part of the Safety Committee and we get to do a lot of well-being events so things like that just makes you feel very valued as an employee.

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