Five minutes with... Jaguar Land Rover engineer, Hugh Reid
Hugh, 24, from Chepstow, is an Electrical Quality Engineer. He has a BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering degree, and has worked for Jaguar Land Rover since graduating in 2011.
What does your job involve?
I analyse warranty data for electrical systems, and fix issues in teams with automotive component suppliers.
How did you find the job?
It was advertised online as the JLR graduate scheme. I passed online tests and a half day assessment centre with a variety of tasks.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Getting the team to a root cause of an issue – from what seems like an impossible starting point.
How has Harper Adams helped shape your career?
I left university with real product development work experience at one of the major tractor manufacturers. It was more than just an engineering degree - I also had experience of engineering working in teams.
What other jobs have you had?
I worked as a harvest student on a mixed farm every summer for years, and worked in a fabrication workshop after completing my placement year – it’s all good practical experience.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
My interest in farming, and the practical approach to engineering at Harper – I didn’t bother applying to anywhere else. The course linked agriculture and engineering together the whole time, and gave me the freedom to do the final year project I wanted to do.
Were you treated like a professional engineer from day one?
Yes – If a test needed doing the students were just allowed to get on with it.
Tell us a little about the projects you worked on.
For my major project I designed and built a machine for a company near home – I managed the whole project from initial ideas through to production.
Was the extra maths tuition that is available useful to you?
Yes – especially at revision time. Structured Maths revision classes were incredibly useful.
What is the teaching in general like?
Friendly and helpful – remember if you don’t ask you won’t get.
What did you do on placement?
I was a field test engineer with Case New Holland. It involved everything from driving tractors to gathering and analysing data, or explaining to software engineers how a function should work, and what farmers would do with their machines. It was good to put theoretical engineering back into the real world, and see how engineering is done in a big company.
Why would you recommend studying at Harper Adams?
It has much better links with agricultural engineering companies that anyone else
Got any good advice to pass on?
Do A-level maths, or do extra maths at university. Look out for scholarship opportunities at all times – extra money is always useful and sometimes it really is for free.