My Work Experience Week at Labman
Work Experience in mechanical engineering
With my sights firmly set on a future in mechanical engineering, and a passion to excel in my field, I decided to begin my journey at Labman. When I first arrived on Monday morning, it would be fair to say that I felt nervous, apprehensive and a perhaps little overwhelmed. This was the first time I have set foot in such an industrious workplace.
Day 1 – Research & Induction
After signing in, I joined the Monday morning meeting, where the weeks projects were discussed, and technical issues were aired – a real insight into the ins and outs of the company! I was then set to work with a partner researching different ways a robot could be programmed for one of the projects. These concepts seemed completely alien to me, but after an hour or so, I was beginning to feel less incompetent, and more like I actually had (some sort of) idea of what was going on! I enjoyed the researching, as I understand that often planning is the key to a successful job. One or two hours passed of rather confusing, and seemingly fruitless work, but finally, we were getting somewhere. By the end of the day, we’d compiled research on 4 different methods, and I was beginning to find my feet at Labman.
Day 2 – Workshop
Day 2 began, and I was tasked with some hands on, practical work. This was, dare I say it, the first time I’ve ever even held a spanner or an allen key. I may have been a little slow, but after some expert guidance I was beginning to feel more confident armed with an array of hand tools. However, we soon hit a stumbling block, and had to modify some parts – and this meant entering the realms of the workshop. My first, and last experience of a workshop had been that of the wood tech class rooms at school; needless to say, I was surprised to find what an actual workshop was like. After a whirlwind tour, I was taught how to programme the milling machine then how to use the tapping arm. No two days, or even hours, are the same at Labman! At the end of day 2, I was beginning to get to know people, learn where things are, and more importantly – what things do!
Day 3 – The Lathe
Wednesday began with the re-shaping of bolt heads on the lathe. After some trials and tribulations concerning my knowledge of left and right, I began to get the hang of operating it. 30 bolts later, I am now proud to say I know the difference between left and right, and how to operate the lathe… I’m still contemplating which one will come in more useful.
Day 4 – Marketing
Today I joined the marketing team, completing totally different work from anything else I’ve completed this week, so that I got a holistic view of the tasks undertaken by an engineering firm.
Anything but Cups of Tea and Filing
Four days in, I’m beginning to acclimatise to the work hard, play hard ethos ingrained into all of the Labman employees, and feel a little bit less like a novice. Everyone I’ve encountered so far has been welcoming, and more than ready to teach me and help me along my way. With only one day left, I’m struggling to believe how quickly the week has gone by!
While there is a preconceived idea that work experience pupils spend their week making cups of tea and filing, this has most certainly not been the case here: I’ve had a crash course in the work completed by engineering firms, and this only makes me more excited for what the future holds.