How have you seen your role develop since you first started?
My first weeks were spent completing a training course in specialised surface modelling software. It was crucial to get an understanding of the software in order to work on the Class A models produced in surfacing. The course involved lectures, tutorials and exercises which lasted a total of three months. Once the course was completed, I was able to join production surfacing and worked as part of the interior team.
How would you describe a typical working day?
Parts are assigned to you by your manager or project leader. When you’re working on a project, you are given a responsibility to complete your part to a designer’s satisfaction, while reaching the engineering and manufacturing feasibility conditions. These conditions usually involve working to dye lines, manufacturing processes, material finishes and gap tolerances. You have regular interactions with the assigned designers from the studio as you create the different parts to their conception and specifications. Working in surfacing can be very independent as people focus on building up their parts. But people are friendly and always happy to help if you are stuck and are unsure what to do. They have years of experience and knowledge about the software and it is important to absorb as much as you can to increase your understanding.
What was a project you were proud to be part of?
One of the first projects was a new production car, my contribution towards this consisted of helping with the innovation of pieces of the interior trim. Another project I was involved in was an update for a car currently in production. This was a different experience as we could directly review the new models compared to the pieces on the current car and gauge the level of improvement. My involvement with this project included pieces all over the car in areas such as the instrument panel, console, steering wheel, and the front and rear doors. My contribution varied depending on each part. Some only needed minor adjustments to the new surfaces in order to meet specified release tolerances. Other parts required entire rebuilds that took extended periods of time to complete.
How would you describe the undergraduate community at Jaguar Land Rover?
There is a strong undergraduate community within Jaguar Land Rover. People first meet each other through the undergraduate Facebook page that you are added to once you’ve signed your contract. This was how I met my three other housemates. Once our placements began, social nights were also organised through this group.
What’s the best thing about being part of the Undergraduate Programme?
The best thing has been the skills and experience that I have gained since I have started. The amount of training and monetary resources invested in me by Jaguar Land Rover has been tremendous. The amount of time, effort and patience invested by my line manager, and members of the interior team has been outstanding. I have also found that within my role, you’re given real responsibility and work that has an effect on the actual cars.
How would you describe your placement to a friend?
Wonderful opportunity, invaluable skills and experience, CV boosting, foot-in the-door, real industry insight.