Last year I put together an article explaining what the Siemens Graduate scheme was all about while sharing some of my experiences from the first year, which you can read here. This time round, I wanted to continue with the same sort of theme. However, focusing more on my experiences from my final year.
Before I get into that, I just wanted to say what a whirlwind of a period it has been! In the last 12 months (Oct 2019 – Oct 2020), my mum has had open heart surgery, the pandemic hit with a severe lockdown meaning my sister’s wedding couldn’t happen, nor my own in June. However, as soon as the registry office opened in July, I contacted them and moved it to August and thus was able to have a small ceremony. Face masks and everything!
So, I’m no longer a ‘Taylor’ but a jammy ‘Jarman’ now, just to confuse you all 🙂
Nevertheless, Covid-19 has had a huge ramification on the world’s economy, jobs and has changed the way we experience everything in our daily lives. Through all of this, I am extremely grateful and fortunate to be part of such a supportive, compassionate, and innovative company. Not only did they not hesitate for me to have time off and be there for my dad during my mum’s surgery. I have had peace of mind about my job security with being able to work from home.
I have to admit, it’s been challenging getting my head around working from home. I’ve had to specifically book time in my diary to remind me to go out for a walk or a run or even to get up and away from the computer otherwise I would just lose the day and would start going a little insane. But I wasn’t the only one and Siemens made sure that all the employees mental health was looked after by providing us with loads of events and activities as well as giving everyone the Unmind app for free.
Now we’ve gone over that, let’s talk about what I’ve been up to from a Siemens perspective. First up…
Just like the previous year, Siemens really doesn’t hold back on it. The mandatory modules on the scheme entailed courses such as:
- Agile WOW (Ways Of Working), which gives you a good overview of what Agile is, including the different approaches you can use to be more efficient and dynamic.
- Strengthscope 360 – Resilience workshop. This course helped me look at my individual strengths and gave me a great understanding of how I can use them to my benefit to help reduce stress.
- Project Management – Leadership and Teams. This webinar opened my eyes to the different leadership styles including the impact good leadership has to offer.
- Habits of Highly Effective People, which is based on the life’s work of Dr Stephen Covey. This guy basically discovered that these “Habits” were critical for personal effectiveness, and we get to understand them and use them to our benefit 🙂
If you read my previous blog, you would know that I wanted to focus my career towards becoming an Energy Engineer. Not only was everyone supportive of my decision, they fully encouraged me and helped focus my training within the relevant areas. Thus, I have completed courses such as:
- BCM02 Measuring & Control Technology
- CIBSE – Practical Controls for HVAC systems
- CIBSE – Energy Surveys
- CITB HS&E Test for Operatives to get a CSCS card to access project sites.
- CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations
- And a bucket load more which I don’t want to bore you with.
Continuing from my first two rotations in BPS (Building Performance & Sustainability) and Sales.
My 3rd Rotation – Project Management
Even though I had decided I wanted to become an Energy Engineer I still had an inkling of whether Project Management would also be a good career choice to follow. Considering this question, I expressed my feelings with my line manager and asked if I could have a rotation with the Projects team, 1) to get an idea of what it really takes to be a Project Manager and 2) it would be an amazing opportunity to see and experience a full life cycle of a project considering my previous rotation was in sales. As you can tell he was fully supportive and made it happen.
During this rotation, I had an amazing mentor who showed me the ropes of what it takes to be a Project Manager as well as encouraging me to lead a Fire Panel Migration project favouring me getting the best hands on experience of what it’s like to be a Project Manager.
During this 6-month rotation, I have worked on a few other projects also. Having to be on site, talking to customers, contractors and subcontractors. To be honest with you being a Project Manager is no easy task. It’s like you are on a battlefield being hit from all sides and you are trying to navigate the terrain and overcome the obstacles as well within a specific time. Meaning you need to have more of a reactive personality taking the hits and redirecting them to the right person to disarm and progress the project.
For me, I’m more of a proactive person and would rather prep as much as I can beforehand. Because there is only so much I can handle and constantly having to react wears me out very quickly.
From this I knew that Project Management wasn’t really for me but it has given me a new appreciation for what they do and go through. And I raise my glass to all Project Mangers.
My 4th and Final Rotation – EPS (Energy Performance & Services)
In January 2020, the business units BPS and DES (Decentralised Energy Systems) merged to become EPS, which is headed by an incredible and inspiring woman, Faye Bowser.
During my 3rd Rotation a job opportunity came up for a Junior Solutions Energy Engineer. I applied and had an interview in March just before the lockdown and used my final rotation as a trial period. So, when half of the UK went into Furlough my workload significantly increased. I took on the responsibility of all things related to Navigator which is a data management tool as well as trying to pick up all things related to being an Energy Engineering. This is a continuous process, and I’m still learning now.
But what does an Energy Engineer do I hear you ask?
Well, think of us as superheroes. Our role is to go round different buildings, be them offices, manufacturing sites, student accommodation, etc and understand how they function and utilise its energy. Once we understand that, we can identify improvement measures that can be implemented to reduce the building’s energy consumption and thus its carbon footprint. So, we are saving the world, 1 building at a time! 🙂
Volunteering and Other Fun Events
One of the great things about working for such a great company are the opportunities to volunteer and make a difference. For me, the following events are just one years worth.
IT’s not just for the Boys!
This event was a recruitment fair chock-full of diverse and intelligent #futuremakers!
I was there to offer up my experiences as a Graduate. I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event because it felt so rewarding helping these young women feel at ease to ask me all sorts of questions not just company related. Besides, just talking to them, finding out their stories and backgrounds inspires and energises me. Making me want to do more.
Sir William Siemens Challenge
What a weekend I had being a mentor at The Diamond in Sheffield for the #SWSC19.
12 teams of students from cross disciplinary sectors of engineering and universities came together to use data collated from The Diamond building via #Siemens #MindSphere and created within a 48-hour window an automated device that represents it in such an innovative way.
I was so blown away by the ideas and creativity as well as the collaboration the students have shown that weekend. We certainly had a room full of #innovators.
I want to give another huge shoutout and congratulations to the winners of the Sir William Siemens Challenge 2019, Semicode. Your design was aesthetically pleasing as well as technically complex with the additional AI element. The fact you all came together in a last-minute group and pulled together something that is so neat and elegant. Well Done!
Women in Leadership Conference
For this conference I went to the Institute of Directors at Pall Mall in London where I met loads of inspiring and interesting people who are talking about #diversityandinclusion, they are opening my eyes to the #genderpaygap and what we can do to change that but also to what a successful career can look like.
IET Innovation Awards & IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE)
I was invited by the CEO, Carl Ennis to attend the #IETawards which was hosted by the awesome Alex Brooker. What a superb evening it was full of #inspiring individuals, good food and stimulating conversation.
I also attended the IET’s YWE where I was cheering on our very own Amber O’Connor who was a finalist. I dragged my other half to this, and we both had an inspiring and awesome time.
Listening to Sandi Toksvig made me realise the lack of awareness (including my own) people have on the amazing things women have accomplished! This event is a great showcase of how far we have come. Despite this we are only halfway where we should truly be.
Check me out! I’m in the Siemens Grad brochure 🙂
Not only am I in the brochure but because of my previous blog about my first year on the grad scheme, you can also find me on the Energy & Utilities jobs site, Gradcracker and Verdica.
SI REU/EPS/BP D&I Team
I’m really passionate when it comes to advocating Diversity and Inclusion. In November 2019, I bought together a diverse team of volunteers to help me promote and progress D&I within our department. We have come a long way from not knowing where to start, to implementing a roadmap of what we are going to achieve. We are also creating quarterly newsletters to keep everyone informed of all the amazing things we and the whole of Siemens are doing. I am also Interviewing all the heads within the divisions and asking them their thoughts about Diversity and Inclusion.
D&I – Blogs
On top of this, I have promoted diversity and inclusion through as many multiple avenues as I can. Be it through my blogs like, ‘Who Changed the World? … Girls!‘ (Think of Beyoncé’s song ‘Run the World (Girls) when you read it :)) as well as What is Engineering? Which talks about the diversity this field has to offer. To talking about my experiences as a young female engineer staring her career.
Who would have thought!
As you can see, I have taken full advantage of my 2 years on the graduate scheme. I’ve met and connected with so many amazing people, and I was even awarded highly commended for Graduate of the Year.
For anyone starting out, Siemens is an amazing company. I feel valued, challenged and able to achieve anything. Yes, there are ups and downs as with any company but especially after the year we have had, I am grateful to be working for Siemens.
But if there was any advice I would give, it would be “Don’t settle in a mundane job, go somewhere that appreciates you and will give you the best stepping stones to an amazing career”
What does the future look like?
I told you earlier that I’ve had an interview and that my final rotation acted as a trial period for the job I really wanted. Well, the outcome was ….
… drumroll please….
I got it! 🙂 Whoop Whoop!
But not only am I now a Junior Solutions Energy Engineer, aka a Superhero in Training, I have also become the UK’s leading Navigator Expert.
My future seems bright and Siemens is helping me by opening so many doors, so that I can be the best version of myself and have all the opportunities to have an amazing career ahead of me.