What are you studying and where?
I am an Electronics and Electrical Engineering student at the University of Glasgow.
What attracted you to work at Calnex?
When searching for a summer internship, there were two main things I was looking for, the company to be small and have an open culture. The reasoning behind this being that I did not wish to be nameless employee #3301, and having experienced elitism in the workplace, an open culture was non-negotiable. Calnex ticked both those boxes. It was a small, niche company with most of the staff fitting in a single office and very often being face to face with the CEO himself, something quite rare for any company. Thus, Calnex was the obvious choice.
What have you enjoyed most about your summer placement?
If I had to pick one thing, it would be the knowledge gained through working. During my placement, there was always something to do, and all of it was meaningful. Although there was always something to be done, it was not overwhelming and never felt like work. Every single task was demanding in its own way, and they all had something to teach. I had heard some horror stories from my colleagues about projects that are recycled every year, or doing minimal to no engineering at all, but that is certainly not the case at Calnex.
Most challenging aspects of your job?
The most challenging aspects of my job had to be the technical stuff. Being new to the industry and its practices required adapting to the development process, which is quite the learning curve. It takes time to learn the technologies used to aid in the production cycle, especially when they are applied to unfamiliar engineering, that too needs learning. No University course can teach these things and one can never be prepared, but the effort is well worth it.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone who wants to start a summer placement?
Just do it. Summer placements are the best way to get into the industry and attain head-start experience. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, and regardless of what happens, by the end you will have some real world knowledge and certainly a clearer direction to what you want to eventually get into, or avoid.