Top Ten Tips for Graduate Engineers
We gather insight from experience and give new engineers a big bundle of start-smarts - ready for success on our graduate engineering programmes.
Graduates starting out on the Ocado Engineering Graduate Programmes won’t be short on support. Everyone from team leaders and senior management to current and former programme candidates will be on hand to act as guiding lights, should you need them.
Even so, we understand that starting a graduate scheme can be a little overwhelming. To help new graduate engineers to focus on what’s important, we asked current and former graduates for tips on how to thrive at Ocado.
Here is their collected wisdom:
There’s a lot of unique information at Ocado, so use your time as a graduate to ask loads of questions. Get involved in a variety of learning activities.
Set yourself short, medium and long term goals (3/6/12/24 month goals). This will allow you to tailor your own journey so you achieve them. Members of our Emerging Talent team will always be on hand to help you determine and achieve your goals.
There are a lot of great people at Ocado. Not only will they help with your development journey, but they become extremely valuable for networking. Being willing to get involved in initiatives and asking to be involved in projects that interest you in the long run.
In Technology Operations, our technicians are valuable and inexhaustible sources of engineering-related knowledge. Listen carefully and take onboard everything. This will allow you to make more informed decisions and become a better manager.
Your attitude towards work is essential. You should be a leader, not a boss. There might be times when you have to get your hands dirty. You’ll get a lot of respect if you're willing to get involved in anything.
Respect everyone. At Ocado, we value and hear everybody’s voice. Feel empowered to speak up with your insights, and help others to feel empowered too.
Some placements may require hands-on work, so be willing to get your hands dirty. For some, this is the best way to learn.
We have a strong, valuable graduate community. Get close with others, both in your cohort and from other years. It’s likely you will work with them all at some point, so having a good workplace relationship will help.
If you don't know where you'd like to go and what you enjoy, go into everything with an open mind and reflect on what you enjoyed and what you were best at. The engineering graduate programme is a great opportunity to expose yourself to a variety of roles and responsibilities.
This is an important one. We are always here to help. If you ever feel like you are up against a challenge then your scheme owner, your manager, or your buddy are always here to support you. Discuss the challenges you're facing and how to overcome them. Examples could be learning modules (both internal and external), extra secondments, shadowing, and so on. You should be doing the chasing, don't expect anybody else to.
Contributions to these tips came from Jaabir Logde, a Peripheral Technical Expert from the 2017 intake; Joe Fretwell, an Associate Change Implementation Engineer from the 2019 intake; and Sheyda Ghamarinezhad and Sayeef Miah - both still on the graduate programme, from the 2020 intake.
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