Want to get to know our engineers? This month we went out and had a coffee and a chat with Matt, a resident engineer at one of our high profile client sites. As the conversation flowed Matt discussed his unconventional route into engineering, his advice for others considering a career in the industry as well as his passion for cars!
In a few sentences briefly describe your career roles to date.
I was a manager at McDonalds and a couple of casual dining restaurants for a few years, so not a conventional career path into engineering and maintenance but was given an opportunity by Hemlow to join as an improver which is aimed at individuals looking at a new career path. That was around three years ago now and I have quickly worked my way up to Lead Engineer.
Always been interested in engineering, the fact that something works has never satisfied me I have always wanted to know what is at the core, how something has been manufactured. I want to learn, take things apart and be a problem solver I am interested in the real mechanics of things.
How did you hear about the job opportunity at Hemlow?
Through my now father-in law, who is a Contract Manager within Hemlow. He was aware that I was not happy in my then profession and looking to move into another career (and with my private passion for all things mechanical). He mentioned the Improver Programme and then referred me internally. I haven’t looked back since.
“I was a manager at McDonalds and a couple of casual dining restaurants for a few years, so not a conventional career path into engineering and maintenance, but was given an opportunity by Hemlow to join as an improver”
What is your biggest achievement to date – professionally or personal?
Professionally for me, it has been being promoted to Lead Engineer position at Sotheby’s and personally, getting married this year!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Busy, I wear multiple hats! First thing I normally go through my emails that have come in, Sotheby’s operates 24 hours a day and we need to ensure as a team, we are prepared to react to any maintenance issues or call outs but also to provide support and advise in-house for on-going projects within the building. Its key for us is to maintain great relationships with not just Sotheby’s own staff but other contractors within the building. It’s a complex set up that works through great communication and a shared vision.
As Lead Engineer I also attend meetings with the building manager. It’s imperative that as a Hemlow employee I know what is going on, day to day operations but also future plans which are very varied. Everyday has its unique requirements.
If you could switch jobs with someone for a day, who would it be? (In or outside of Hemlow)
Inside of Hemlow, I wouldn’t change my role. I am happy with what I am doing for the moment and love how far I have come.
Outside of Hemlow I would love to be a Top Gear presenter (petrol head).
What is the biggest professional challenge you have overcome?
One of the biggest challenges since being with Hemlow, was when I started to progress. I felt I had something to prove to the team and company as a whole and that I was capable of the role. I needed to get rid of the stigma of who I knew. I had to do a great job and had to be rewarded for it through my own merit, which I have done!
What do you like most about your job?
The freedom to be able to make decisions, there is no manual, you have to use your expertise and judgement to get the job done in a professional but cost and time efficient way.
What advice would you give to any new engineers joining Hemlow? Or anyone considering a career in engineering?
Choose what trade you want to go into early on. Start to get your line managers to get you into that area, work with other engineers so you can learn, develop and progress. Hemlow have enabled me through this open approach to follow my career aspirations.
Finally tell us something that you enjoying doing outside of work in your spare time?
I am a total petrol head. I spend too much time and money on my car my Convertible BMW, well, my wife thinks it’s too much money and time but not me! I have always been into cars since a young boy, my dad was a chauffeur so came home driving nice cars and maintaining them also my Grandad was an engineer in the Royal Navy and had a passion for cars, it’s in the blood!!