A quick chat with Sarah Henshaw, Product Manager, JCB Attachments
Sarah Henshaw graduated in 2010 with a BEng (Hons) Off Road Vehicle Design. The 25-year-old, from Derbyshire, now works for JCB, in the Attachments department where her job involves introducing and marketing JCB’s products, managing pricing and enquiries from dealers, organising technical shows, and managing a team of three.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There is a lot of variety. I get to work on multiple projects and alongside all of the departments within our business unit.”
What does your job involve?
We carry out market research to assess if there’s a need for any new products. Then we look at what the requirements are to run with our machine range, can it be designed in-house or is there a third party out there that has the product we need and who we could do a joint venture with? We would then put together the marketing brief for engineering so they know what they are expected to create and manage the introduction of the product, holding regular meetings with each department that’s involved. At the other end we produce launch literature and training material so our internal salesmen can tell the dealers about the product and they can in turn go out and sell. I am also responsible for setting the initial prices of products.
How did your qualification/ experiences at Harper Adams help your career?
Having an engineering degree I can understand a lot more about the products I am working with and what I have to explain to the dealers.
Where did you work on placement?
At JCB, in three different areas. In the Earthmovers department I worked on the new floor plan in production to allow build of new machines. When I moved on to UK Sales and dealer development I was looking at the requirements of the rental market on mini excavators – some of which can now be seen on the 801X utility spec machine. I also did a lot of work on the second hand value of machines. Finally I worked in design at Compact Products.
What was the best thing about placement?
Applying what I had learnt at university and making connections that would help me get a job after graduation.
Do you think placement enhanced your career prospects?
Definitely. I got my job at Attachments based on recommendations from people I worked with on placement.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
I liked the applied elements of the course and its links to industry. I transferred to Harper Adams from another university in year two due to a heavy bias on theory on my first course.
What were the best things about the course?
The real world knowledge of the lecturers, the ability to have a go and see the theory happen, and the close links with industry throughout the course.
What do you think of the facilities?
Excellent. They enable you to get hands-on with what you are learning about, to put the theory into a real world situation and prove it.
What are your favourite memories of university?
The people. Everyone is so friendly, both the staff and students, and you’re never on your own.
Would you recommend Harper Adams?
Yes, the course is well thought of within the industry and gives you a great start on the career ladder.