Adrian, a Graduate Hardware Engineer at Graphcore, tells us about his experiences with the firm so far, gives us exclusive insights into the unique culture and shares his top application advice.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in London, before moving to Southampton to study Electronic Engineering. During my four-year course, I got involved with a variety of sports including Kung-Fu and dodgeball.
What stood out to you about Graphcore when applying for opportunities?
I discovered Graphcore towards the end of my second year, and by this point, I was convinced I wouldn’t secure an internship. As I searched for opportunities, I was intrigued by the role with Graphcore because it was exactly what I was interested in.
I investigated Graphcore and discovered that it was an innovative company with a key focus on AI and machine learning, so I knew I’d be in my element. I now work as part of a team that designs and makes circuit boards that house the Intelligence Processing Chip (IPU), as well as ensuring that they fit the unique requirements.
The fact Graphcore was a start-up also appealed to me because I knew it would mean I’d be given real responsibility and have access to a wide range of opportunities where I could learn and grow my skill set.
How did you find the application process for Graphcore?
I had previously completed 2 internships at Graphcore as a Hardware Engineer, so my application process was slightly different from what others may go through.
My experience of applying for internships was quick and simple. I submitted an application and was invited to an interview. On the day of my interview, I was so nervous but was instantly put at ease when I was greeted by a friendly in-house barista. The interview itself was an informal discussion based on competency and technical-based questions.
Throughout the process, everyone was so welcoming which helped me to relax and enjoy the process. And, as a bonus, I received a call just an hour after leaving the office to let me know I had got the job. This made me feel valued and further increased my excitement to start the role.
What is a ‘normal day’ like in your role?
My day starts at around 9 with a coffee and friendly chat with the in-office barista. After this, I have tasks including writing up programmes and adjusting technology to make sure it’s functioning correctly. A lot of my time is spent looking at how we can automate things to make them work smoothly and more efficiently, but what I do really varies based on the departments and the wider company’s requirements.
After work we have various social events like heading to the pub, booking out venues for themed events like Octoberfest.
How would you describe the culture at Graphcore?
The culture is so relaxed, people here are friendly and like to engage in the various socials that are hosted. Having company-wide socials is a great way to meet people from across the business.
We have an ethos that we should be able to help each other out with problems, this makes Graphcore a collaborative place where everyone works together and learns from each other.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying to Graphcore?
My main piece of advice is to not think of interviews as interviews. What I mean is, see them as more of a conversation where someone is interested in getting to know you. People have the perception that you need to know everything before you step into an interview, obviously, you need to be prepared but, if you remove the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect it makes the process more enjoyable.
Feeling inspired? Check out Graphcore’s profile to find out more about their innovative company and their live career opportunities.