MEng Mechanical Engineering – Bristol University
Harry joined the graduate programme in September 2010.
“Even though I studied engineering at University it never was for me, as it is quite rightly for many people, a vocation. I knew I didn’t want to pursue a technical career, and I felt my real strengths lay elsewhere. That said, I was still fascinated by the engineering world and wanted to be part of it. I also wanted to work for a British company that would give me good prospects in terms of being able to work abroad. Rolls-Royce was one of the few places that could accommodate all these aspirations.
“As I said, the scope for international travel was very important to me and on my particular programme, I have the potential to spend at least two of my five years abroad. Many of my peers who went to work elsewhere, in the City for instance, don’t get those kinds of opportunities and I’m very excited about the prospect of taking advantage of them.
“Last September I started my first six-month placement working down in Bristol as a Sales Coordinator. It provided me with a great overview of the Customer Management function and within two weeks, I was attending regular meetings with the President of Customer Business. Although my contribution was small, it was still amazing exposure for me. It also gave me a great insight into how complex £multi-billion bids were put together, from the moment of inception right through to contractual agreement.
“I’m on my second placement now, working in a marketing role within Gas Turbine Services (GTS). Although we make a lot of money from selling a brand new engine, we make even more from maintaining it for the duration of its thirty-year life – so it’s a hugely important area for Rolls-Royce. It’s a very complex market to understand as GTS sits behind every Rolls-Royce sector, works with customers from every country, and repairs and overhauls a huge number of different engines. It’s a constant challenge getting to grips with it, but the last four months have laid down a great foundation of understanding which I’ll be able to draw on for the rest of my career.
“One of the projects I’m currently involved in is a very exciting brief in which I’m project managing Rolls-Royce’s appearance at this year’s MRO Europe Conference in Madrid. MRO stands for Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul and it’s one of the biggest MRO events of the year. Many of the major airlines and service providers will be there, and I’m responsible for ensuring our appearance is a success. It’s a lot of pressure, but also a great experience.
“In a few weeks’ time, I’ll hopefully be moving to Shanghai for my third placement. That’s where one of newest marine offices is based, and as over half of the world’s merchant vessels are currently built there, it’s set to be a major growth area for Rolls-Royce. Although I’m daunted by the prospect of working in such a radically different environment, I’m also very excited. One thing’s for sure: I’m going have to start brushing up on my Cantonese!”