John Richards

John Richards

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

The company is called Diodes and they are a semiconductor manufacturer, which means they create parts which go in mobile phones and cars etc.

What is your role within the company?

I am in the failure analysis department so I analyse what has gone wrong with any parts which have failed testing.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

A typical day may involve testing a component to see if it really has failed, and then if so deciding the best course of action to find the fault of the failure. This for example could involve doing things such as removing layers of the device in acids, plasma, or by grinding, and then by inspecting it via optical, emission or electron microscopy. My time is very open to use as I best see, so in amongst that I will check emails and carry on with any projects or the most important analysis case dependent upon timescales.

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

The big project I have done so far is to create a computer interface for a machine the company was using that was so old it was using a paper plotter. The thing I actually enjoy the most about work though is the free time outside of work not having to worry about doing any self-study, and the money earned to cover my costs.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

There are many reasons. I felt burned out from education and needed a break as I was finding it difficult to concentrate on my studies. I also had very little workplace experience, and decided to see what it was like, and very little practical experience of how my course was used in a workplace, so a year in industry allowed me to piece it together in a new way to my studies.

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?

A lot. I have had a preview of what work could be like after graduation and gained an initial impression of whether I am doing the right course for my life in a way education could never provide. I also feel I have gained a better work ethic from the regular work times and my activities during work, and feel refreshed and eager for the final year of my studies. Outside of work I have gained too as being in a new area of the country means I have made new friends by continuing my social activities.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

Don't wait around for a company to reply after applying! Sometimes a company will forget to tell you the result of your application, or keep you on the back-burner in case something happens to another candidate. Also check your spam box frequently for incorrectly processed emails.