Early Careers, Engineering, Software, Technology

Why our supportive culture really matters.

Now in her fifth year with the business, Mia, Advanced Battery and Cell Engineer tells us why the supportive culture of Jaguar Land Rover has been so important to her:

“I wanted to work here from the age of 13. Jaguar Land Rover presented the projects they were working on at my school career fair. They really stood out, as the people presenting seemed not much older than me! I put them at the top of my list of places to work straight away.

My original career thoughts had always been towards working in law. I grew up in foster care and came into contact with lawyers quite a lot and my passion for caring for children started there. But I was also fascinated by the world of engineering.

One of the greatest aspects of working here is I can balance the two.

In my engineering role I’m looking at how batteries perform. I prepare a lot of models around how batteries behave electrically and thermally in different situations. How they store energy and how sustainable they are. This is such an important part of the future of every Jaguar Land Rover vehicle. Our desire to create cars that are autonomous, connected, electrified and shared is something I’m really passionate about.

I am also given the time and support for my volunteering work. I give talks to give a voice to children in care and volunteer at events to help young people in care such as outreach programs with Warwick University. I’m part of the children in care council and helped set up the care leavers forum.

I’m especially passionate about bringing more women into engineering. The diversity here is one of our strengths and has changed for the better – even in the short time I’ve been here!

This is my 5th year at JLR. It’s gone so quickly and I’ve achieved so much already. The first two years were really hands on and my time at Warwick University has complemented my experience here. I’ve worked with partners around the world. Bringing different experts together is so important to our shared futures and I benefit so much – personally and professionally – by working with them all.

Like I said, the supportive culture is really important. I’ve set my sights high – I want to be the youngest female manager at JLR. And I know I will be supported and pushed hard to achieve my ambitions.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, Engineering, Featured, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

Are you wondering what it’s like to be an apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover?

Here is Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentice Lauren with an insight into her experiences of life at JLR:

“Before starting at JLR I naturally wondered whether I would be able to make an immediate contribution in the broad range of projects I would be working on. Looking to a software course such as the DTS stream, I questioned if it would all be coding related or if I’d be given the opportunity to diversify and develop new skills.

I had studied Python in GCSE Computing and knew this was going to feature on the course. In A-Level Product Design, I had progressively advanced my skills in CAD programs such as Fusion 360 and a project opportunity soon appeared enabling me to use these skills in designing and fabricating a jig to allow the testing of ECUs. From this, CAD has become an important part of my job.

Making a true difference in the business was something I was looking forward to before I joined. When focusing on smaller scale projects, you may feel as though your work doesn’t contribute, but it all adds up to the bigger picture and I’ve been directly involved in real world vehicle software development.

Before my apprenticeship journey, I also wondered if I’d be thrown in at the deep end as I’d just finished A-Levels at school and so still very much learning despite work experience placements in both automotive and aerospace industries. When I joined, I was supported via informal inductions and tours from older apprentices etc. It can be daunting at first, but my team was on hand to support swift learning and integration.

The transition from A-Levels to university lectures felt smoother than the move from GCSE to A-Level with the teaching level being taxing where necessary. Of course, we currently study via online lectures which I have enjoyed because we can still collaborate in smaller groups, with assessments having a more coursework-based content, but they still have sufficient challenge.

It is quite an adjustment to go from face to face learning to using Teams and I did think that the collaboration opportunities might reduce however if anything, I’ve collaborated with a lot more people on a lot more projects since working remotely. That said, I have learnt through lockdown that it is crucial to develop a good work-life balance when working from home. I have sometimes continued working beyond the usual office hours, but it is good to switch off and have a proper break to take care and be productive in your actual working hours.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

It’s a great environment to ask questions and develop myself.

Software Engineer Jack Young talks about the responsibility that Jaguar Land Rover has given in during his apprenticeship:

“Of all the apprenticeships I applied for, JLR was the first interview I attended and ended up being my top choice so I’m incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to work here.

I have always been a bit of a geek, having studied Computer Science at both GCSE and A Level. I tend to always get drawn to the techy side of things, even while working as a lifeguard I seemed to assume the role of tech support so it’s not surprising that I have ended up where I am.

I have always been keen to learn about and have the latest technology. Jaguar Land Rover really helps me fulfil that desire. We are more than just are a car company now and it shows in the work that I have been doing; it feels great to be able to push such an iconic company further towards the future.

It has been difficult to keep up with all the new technologies being used within the company and adapting my basic knowledge of programming to the automotive world, but everyone at JLR and the University of Warwick have provided a great environment to ask questions and develop myself. I have already had the opportunity to lead a feature’s development from a marketing idea all the way to designing the software; I struggle to believe many companies would let a first year apprentice do work like this. It is amazing how much responsibility I have been given having only been here for 16 months.

On the other side of things, I was invited to talk on two podcasts and even speak on a panel at the Higher & Degree Apprenticeships Conference in December 2019. Within 4 months of starting the course, I was given the opportunity to network with people from many different industries and job roles and it has been a great way to develop myself.

There has been a great balance of technical and professional development and I have really appreciated that.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

There’s always someone to talk to.

Ellen, one of our DTS Apprentices in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) tells us about one of her favourite parts of life at JLR:

“I was keen to get involved with the apprentice forum since I first started at JLR. They hosted a great tour around Gaydon for us and set us up in a ‘Buddy system’ so we had an older apprentice to talk to.

Unfortunately, at the time, this was limited to just the EVE (electrical and vehicle) department so I knew some friends of mine had missed out. This is what inspired me to get involved in the forum so that we could expand our outreach to future apprentices in all departments. I was able to get involved as both the social rep and as one of the two DTS reps.

This has been one of my favourite parts of joining the business as I have been able to meet many more people than I otherwise would have. So far this year, my friend and I have set up a cohort wide buddy system and organised a small, socially distanced meet up for the new apprentices. In the future, I hope to organise a variety of activities/sports events/nights out/learning/relaxing events for apprentices in all years.”

Apprentice, Early Careers, People, Software, Technology

I love the fact that I get paid to learn.

Claudia, one of our Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentices in Infotainment talks about her experience so far of working at Jaguar Land Rover.

“I’m a bit of a car freak, so wanting to work here was something that was high on my priority list. I’m not a brilliant abstract learner. What I mean by that is that I need to see and touch what I’m working on to understand it. JLR is brilliant in this respect, because I work in the infotainment area of development, which focuses on the experience our customers have in the vehicle.

Oh, and getting to take the cars home really helps. There are so many funky features on our vehicles it’s ridiculous. So I test the cars when I have them to see how my ideas work. And then report back on any suggestions for improvement.

We all think like a customer. That way we can imagine the excitement they feel when they buy one of our range of cars. The range of vehicles is amazing. But so are the range of people and roles that all work together to create the future of the car.

The investment in the people and the place we work is staggering. On any given project I’m surrounded by experts in all areas of tech. And I’m supported by a team and manager who help me do my best work.

They all understand that I’m here to learn. But I love the fact that I get paid to learn rather than at University where I could get into real debt.

Our customers want everything in their cars to make their life easier. What I love about working here is how hard everyone works to achieve this goal. It’s the perfect balance of challenge and support that I rate so highly.”