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Benjamin Alexander Smith

Career Path: Graduate Engineer at DNV GL
Location: Tyne & Wear, UK

In general, I have always been interested in understanding how things work. Academically, I have always enjoyed studying maths and science. In many ways this has guided me down the career path that I have taken. I left Ivy Bank High School in Burnley to study Maths, Physics, and Business A-levels at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form. After completing my A-levels I decided to continue my education by studying Mechanical Engineering. University life was a great experience.

Whilst at Northumbria University I had the chance to mature both academically and socially, both proving important for my continued development. During the course I completed a year in industry with 3M which was encouraged by the University and provided me with an opportunity to apply the theory learnt whilst on the course and to get some real hands-on experience. I then completed my final year to achieve a BEng first-class honours degree. The qualifications and work experience allowed me to be competitive during job applications and has enabled me to choose an exciting career path.

Where are you doing now?

I am now coming towards the end of my second year as a Graduate Engineer with DNV GL.  I work within the Oil & Gas business of DNV GL and provide technical advice and engineering solutions to the industry. Beng Mechanical Engineering Alumni Benjamin Alexander Smith 255

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

The best thing about Northumbria were the people, the students, lecturers, and support staff.  The support available during my time at Northumbria was important throughout the challenges of academic study, selecting a career path, and competing for career vacancies. The lecturers were technically strong, and were readily available when I needed advice. The facilities at the University enable a great study and social-life balance. In addition to the fantastic academic opportunities at Northumbria I would say that the year in industry was crucial in giving me 'an edge' when applying for jobs. It definitely proved to be an important addition to my CV and I have the University placement team to thank for their help in finding the vacancy.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course was a combination of the variety of course content, the experience and helpfulness of the lecturers and the interaction with the other students on the course.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

I was most inspired by studying with a group of students all of whom had different nationalities and had taken completely different paths to get to where they were. Their dedication to achieve success in life was infectious and has helped to drive me to achieve the same goals.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

In engineering it is quite common to be presented with an unsolved problem.  The greatest skill that I learnt and started to develop on the course was the ability to deconstruct a problem, make sense of the various components, apply engineering principles and evaluate.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I enjoyed working with fellow students on the challenges and projects provided by the course and the friendships that developed as a result.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

When you are choosing your university I would advise you to research all aspects such as the course, entry requirements, location, social life, etc.  I certainly found that Northumbria provided me with a good balance and a lot more than a degree.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Fun, Challenge and exploration.

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