Charlotte Rowland

Charlotte Rowland

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? 

I completed my master’s  in 2016 and had a one week holiday before joining Nestlé as a Manufacturing Graduate. The graduate scheme has given me a chance to quickly develop as a person and learn about Nestlé and how to become a leader within the company. After finishing the scheme I’d like to become a leader within the factory and after that work abroad for a period of time with Nestlé.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am working as a Manufacturing and Goal Alignment Graduate. It is a two year scheme where I do four, six month placements where I am placed in any of our 13 factories/offices in the UK and Ireland. In each placement I learn different roles and aspects of manufacturing such as focused improvement, goal alignment (governance) and continuous improvement. In these placements I work on projects that work closely with the engineers and factory leaders to deliver rapid results using problem solving and hands-on techniques. 

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?

I studied Chemistry at Hull for my undergraduate degree and I was on course to do an integrated four year course. However, I found at the end of three years that I would like to get experience in the field of engineering and so chose to study for a masters at Leeds.

I lived alone while I was at Leeds and this meant that I grew independently as a person which made me become more outgoing and confident. I think these are skills that employers really search for in university students. Also, I found that while applying for graduate schemes, the Engineering Employability team were extremely positive and encouraging. I think the team gave me the initial boost I needed to reassure me that I was capable. On my course, we did alot of group project work which really helped me to learn a lot about people management.

What was the best aspect of study at Leeds?

I think the staff members, including lecturers, PhD students and post docs all made my time at Leeds very engaging and I learnt a lot from working alongside some great people. I found my research project really interesting and I enjoyed working with the team in my school.

What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds?

Leeds is a great place to study and live, there is so much to get involved with and be a part of that you’ll never be bored and you’ll develop as a person at the same time. Everyone who teaches you is a specialist in their field.

I would  say that my current role is in manufacturing, however, both manufacturing and engineering are very similar disciplines and require the same problem solving mind frame. Manufacturing is a great way to use your engineering knowledge to make quick results but also to manage these results by leading other people.