Missed the IEUK deadline? Apply to On Demand

Can’t attend IEUK’s live experience or missed the deadline? No worries! You can still participate with On Demand. Access recorded sessions and work samples in your chosen sector, and complete the experience at your own pace over two weeks. Apply by 26th June.

Meet Atif, Graduate Project Sales Engineer at SSE

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Tell us a bit about yourself, what programme did you join at SSE and when, what location are/were you based in?

I’m Atif, 23, from Central London. I like to play competitive table tennis and go travelling to different cities & countries. Being born in North London unfortunately means I’m also an Arsenal fan. I joined SSE in Sep 2020, and I work in the Smart Buildings area as a Graduate Project Sales Engineer, focussing more so on Building Energy Management Systems. My office is based in Egham, which is just outside London.

What did you study at university and what university do you/did you attend/what year group?

I received an integrated Masters degree (4 year course) in Aerospace Engineering from Queen Mary University of London. I graduated in July 2020.

Which sectors did you consider applying to for your graduate or placement role and what made you choose SSE and the area you are now working in?

I wanted to find a role where I could work with people and be technical at the same time – I’d get bored being stuck in an office all day. The sectors I applied for were mainly engineering consultancy or in the energy industry.

I chose SSE as they are a giant company in the energy sector. It’s an area of immense growth and I wanted to be a part of it long term. My role is both technical & commercial, so it suits my personality being a people person.

How did you find the recruitment process?  Do you have any advice for students considering applying for the SSE Graduate Programmes/Summer Placements?

The recruitment process was pretty straightforward. The video interview may seem daunting but honestly they are just looking for people who can speak confidently to a webcam and produce a good response to their timed questions.

The assessment centre was a bit different to what I had experienced elsewhere, I had to deliver a physical presentation to management staff. A top tip would be to connect with someone in the business or in the energy sector whose brain you could pick to best prepare yourself.

Tell us a bit about your current role, what you’ve learnt and what you’ve enjoyed most.

The first 6 months of my graduate scheme consisted of technical training on HVAC disciplines with a focus on BMS, and communicating these ideas back to the management team via PowerPoint presentations to demonstrate my understanding.

Thereafter, we gain more experience in pricing and costing jobs for clients, and getting involved in different projects for the company. I’ve enjoyed learning completely new engineering concepts unrelated to what I had studied at University, and also being able to meet colleagues around the UK - I would not have normally had a chance to do this but due to COVID-19 and remote working, online interactions have facilitated these interactions.

Any additional thoughts or comments

This role is flexible in the sense there is scope to work from home, and also work in the office.

Many of us graduates were clueless about Smart Buildings and BMS when we joined, therefore it is so important you ask loads of questions when unsure or curious about something –  the management team are more than happy to educate and help you on this journey. Be brave! You can only grow when you exit your comfort zone!