Carolyn Harvey - Graduate Mechanical Engineer at Jacobs

Issued: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:00:00 BST

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I compete in Athletics, specifically in Triple Jump. I took part in the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March where I made the final and also appeared on the telly!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I started working at Jacobs in September last year after graduating from the University of Strathclyde in June with my master’s degree. I work for their Government Solutions Department, which means I get to help solve problems with lots of different systems from firefighting systems, to submarines and even nuclear reactors. I am currently employed on their Graduate Development Program which allows me to learn lots about different parts of the business and meet lots of different people outside my normal department.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

At school my favourite subjects were the three sciences and maths. I loved how all of them linked together (it made studying a lot easier) and I really love solving problems. My teachers also helped to make these subjects really fun by adding in practical elements where I could learn from my mistakes.

What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?

At school I took Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English at Higher Level. I also was allowed to sit my Higher Music a year early as I had played the violin since the age of 6.

To get into engineering at university the best subjects to take are Physics and Maths because of the problem-solving elements to them. I didn’t take Graphic Communication; however I think it would’ve been really useful as it gives you a head-start to using the different Computer Modellers such as Inventor and AutoCAD that we use lots in work to make drawings and models for our clients.

What is a normal day in your role like?

I have a very short attention span so one of the benefits about working for an engineering consultancy is that there’s lots of different tasks to complete for every project, so no two days are the same. I can sometimes be based in the office writing up reports, finding information I need or coming up with new ideas, or I can be on a visit to the project site to do some more practical work such as inspections. The mix of both keeps it really interesting and exciting from day to day.

I typically work around 40 hours a week, where I can work 9 hours Monday to Thursday, so I finish at Lunch time on a Friday and make my weekend a wee bit longer!

What's your favourite thing about your job?

I really enjoy getting to face a new challenge every day, and new problems to help come up with solutions for. Also, when in the office I enjoy meeting different people in the kitchen when making a tea and finding out a bit more about them.

Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
Please share links to relevant resources.

I’ve found a few of fun at home science experiments online that I think illustrate some of the example problems in the engineering world. 


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