We recently caught up with Bright Network alum Rafsan. After initially studying Mechanical Engineering at UCL for 3 years, Rafsan completed a 1-year internship at Rolls-Royce and an MSc at Imperial College London. Now, he’s back at Rolls-Royce doing a Graduate Placement.
We had a chat with Rafsan to hear all about his career so far – including what his role entails, why he chose this career path and the advice he’d give to students looking to follow in his footsteps.
What initially attracted you to your role at Rolls-Royce as a Design Engineer?
The most interesting aspect of design engineering is you have the ability to describe a complicated 3D object with three or four 2D drawings. It is a way of expressing yourself and your ideas and I love that! Also it is very challenging, because there are many constraints in a design and you are always trying to find the right balance between conflicting requirements; finding the solution to such problems is extremely rewarding.
What does your role entail – could you tell us about what a typical day looks like for you?
As the cliché goes there really isn’t a typical day for me. I might spend one day going around the whole Derby site having meetings and visiting manufacturing workshops. Other times I am at my desk working with a Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Stress Analysis software, working with Excel, reading and writing technical documents, having international phone conferences or even doing a course online! Ultimately, you are given a task and it is up to you how you tackle it and solve the problem. We are given the flexibility and accountability for our tasks.
What’s been your highlight and most challenging moment so far?
The challenging moment has been organising a one-day workshop with senior engineers. I had to persuade around 10 people to support the one-day workshop, where I organised a live engine Borescope demonstration and led the discussions using Systems Engineering tools. It took a lot of planning but the outcome was great and everyone was very supportive.
The highlight has been the opportunity to network with really senior people in Rolls-Royce PLC. I am fortunate to undertake a short placement at our headquarters and on my very first day I got an opportunity to talk to the CEO and CFO!
What are your top tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
You are at a critical stage in your career. If you put in the extra effort now, life will become much easier in the near future. Apply to all the graduate schemes you are genuinely interested in, learn about the company and the role before making the application. Practice the online tests and learn about interview techniques. In group assessment centres, do not be that person who dominates for the sake of dominating; be a team player and respect everyone. Finally, just enjoy what you do!