Meet Williams Advanced Engineering’s latest Business Graduates Scheme colleagues: Annie Curtis, James Wallace and Rosalyn Brown.
Our Business graduate programme involves four 6-month rotations over 2 years, covering all aspects of the business. During the programme, graduates gain vital exposure to people at all levels within the business, are given real projects and empowered to make real decisions. The scheme also offers opportunities for colleagues to get involved by becoming mentors and partnering with the graduates to support their project work.
Please tell us about the WAE Graduate Scheme you’ve just joined?
Annie: I joined the Business Graduate Scheme in September 2021. The scheme offers the opportunity to undertake four rotations over two years within various departments; ranging from Programme Management and Business Development to Finance and Operations. For me, the Graduate Scheme represents a great opportunity to gain a wide range of skills that can be applied across the business.
Why did you choose WAE?
Ros: I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and throughout university I was always interested in net zero and understanding the methods of reaching carbon neutral goals. As a result, WAE was the perfect company for me – allowing me to combine my degree and my passions whilst working within an engineering environment to develop solutions for moving away from fossil fuels towards carbon net zero goals. Another reason I was interested in WAE was the wide variety of projects in which you can be involved which makes the job exciting and versatile.
Please tell us about the application process – what did it entail?
James: I applied online with a CV and cover letter. I was invited to a short video interview where I outlined my interest in WAE and my experiences. I was then invited to an on-site assessment day which consisted of a brief presentation, a case study activity, another interview, group activities and a tour of WAE.
What did you find was the most difficult part of the application process?
Annie: The most difficult part of the application process was the initial 15-minute interview. The short time frame meant that making a great impression whilst answering the questions in depth, had to be kept really focused!
What was the most enjoyable part of the application process?
James: Overall, I enjoyed how personal the application process was. I really got a chance to see if WAE was the right place for me by speaking to multiple people across the business. This was a stark contrast to the recruitment process at many other companies where, all too often, you just feel like a cog in a large hiring machine.
How did you prepare for the application process?
Ros: I did some in-depth research on the projects that WAE are currently involved in to ensure I had a basic knowledge of the technical aspects of the projects. In addition, I learned about the core values at WAE and thought about how my personal values could align with the company’s. I also spent a substantial amount of time preparing for the 3-minute presentation as first impressions really count; proving you had put in the work and preparation for the interview.
What top three tips would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps and consider joining a Graduate Scheme?
Ros: Be yourself! Don’t try change your personality as the interviewers are looking for more than just information, they want to see if you would be a good fit with the company dynamic.
James: Make the hiring process easy for the employer! Think carefully about why you want to work there and have a number of defined points you can back up with evidence from your experiences. (Use the STAR method in your answers).
Annie: Remember, a lot of people apply to the scheme-, so include something, either on your CV or in your interview, that makes you stand out from the crowd.