Hot Young Engineers!

Fast Cars And Formula 1: Making The Most Out Of An Internship

Written by Elena Doncheva | Hot Young Engineers! | Thursday 5th June 2014 13:43:00 GMT

Kimberley Buckley, an automotive engineer, has a passion for fast cars. She has used internships to get ahead of the game - and hopefully into a Formula 1 job soon.

Kimberley Buckley is currently on a graduate scheme at MIRA, an engineering consultancy

Kimberley Buckley is currently on a graduate scheme at MIRA, an engineering consultancy

Kimberley Buckley explains how her internship turned into a graduate scheme and, hopefully soon, into a job. She never imagined herself sitting behind a desk from 9 till 5; it has always been about the hands-on experience. 

But combining that with her passion for fast cars, Kimberley definitely managed to stand out from the crowd.  

“I always wanted to do something unusual and different to my friends and in Year Seven [high-school] I started watching Formula 1. This gave me the idea to be an engineer, so I could go travelling around the world to the races,” she explains.

“I chose to study automotive engineering specifically with motorsport because of my desire to work in F1 – but at university I realised it’s not as glamorous as it appears,” she continues. “I changed my area of interest towards test engineering within the wider automotive sector, which presents me with a diverse range of projects to work on.” 

She adds: “The most influential project was during my first placement at MIRA [a vehicle engineering consultancy]. I had to run a series of airbag misuse testing, which was my first taste of leading a project. I was able to gain experience as both a test engineer and a project manager.”

Her skill-range increased, and she became more confident with her knowledge and abilities. “It gave me a valuable insight into the non-engineering work required to ensure a successful outcome,” says Kimberley.

“It also allowed me to further develop my communication, time management and technical skills. I really enjoyed the challenges, and the responsibility this project brought.”

She continued her work with the same company as a part of a grad scheme. She explains the pros of such a programme. “Being on the graduate scheme I have the opportunity to move around the company and experience various different areas of engineering. This ensures I am always learning something new and developing new skills.”

Her favourite aspect of the job is problem solving. “I love being given a task and coming up with lots of different ideas on how to complete it,” she says. “This allows me to think outside the box and use all the knowledge I have gained from university and work.”

However, she admits that hard work is absolutely necessary in this industry. “My advice to any young engineer would be that you have to be determined. Engineering is a hard subject to study, therefore to do well; you need to be prepared to put in long hours revising in the library. Even though it is hard work, the rewards you gain from being an engineer are many. It is a brilliant feeling to see something you have designed in operation.”

Kimberley adds: “It is never a subject that is standing still; there are always new technologies being developed, which helps to keep engineering an interesting and exciting area to work in. If you want a career where you are always learning something new and challenging yourself, engineering is the one for you.” 



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