The Old Pocklingtonian network helped current U6th form student and Fenwick-Smith boarder, Tom Fuller, to secure a work experience day at transport consultancy Steer Davies Gleave in Leeds.
OP Chris Hoskin (89-96) got in touch following a request from the OP Office for help finding an insight visit or work shadowing opportunity in the engineering sector for sixth former Tom.
Chris explained: “My original plan was that I would spend a day with the pupil following me but then I had a much better idea. I have what I call a speculative project, which is an idea to help a client with a problem they have. At present we have no contract with them but I want to develop the idea we have to a stage whereby we can approach the client and hopefully get them to take us on to develop the idea into a real problem solving product for the railway industry. I wanted the pupil to help start the development of this project. I thought this would give them a much better insight into the role of an engineer and would be a bit more interesting and hands-on for them.”
Tom and his parents got in contact with Chris to make the arrangements for the visit which took place during February half-term. Tom wrote the following report about his day:
“After sorting out my work experience day at Steer Davis Gleave I travelled by train to Leeds and met up with Chris at his firm. Following introductions and a tour of the building I was given a briefing about the problem that Chris had seen with a piece of technology currently used to help prevent excessive damage after freight train derailments. He believed that there was a better way of doing the job and asked me to do research into the matter and present my ideas to him at the end of the day. I began by looking at the current system in place and reading about how it worked. After I fully understood the problem and the type of train that was the issue I set about looking for alternative solutions. After my days’ work I brainstormed some of my ideas with Chris and Felicity (from the Research and Innovation team) and looked at any problems with these ideas. I had a really productive day and learned loads about how an engineering firm works and the jobs that the engineers do. It was really good for me to see the kind of jobs an engineering degree leads to and start building a network for the future – I was even treated to some cake!”
Chris was delighted with how the day went. He commented “Tom was excellent. The day went very well. Tom did some great research and came up with some good ideas. He was very switched on and I think if he takes his enthusiasm with him through university and into the working world he will do very well.
“He quite happily engaged at lunch when we were in the kitchen with some of the other staff, which also gave Tom and I a chance to compare notes on our experiences of Pock!”
If you are a current Pocklington pupil or a recent leaver and would like to talk to an OP about what it’s like to work in the industry you are interested in, or you need help finding some work experience through the OP network, please contact Dr Farrar in the Careers Office (current pupils) or Rachel Dare or Georgina Booth in the OP Office (former pupils) and we will see what we can do!