Undergraduates

‘You’re constantly given opportunities to develop’

Being an undergraduate at Bentley is much more than an extension of your academic learning – it’s a real work challenge, matching you to an important job and encouraging you to make a difference. Gemma Rigby shares her experience

‘I’m originally from Cheshire and studied Product Design Engineering at Loughborough University, but I actually first became aware of Bentley after I went and watched my friend race for the brand in the British GT Championship. Then, when someone I knew from uni joined the undergraduate scheme in the Wood Shop and really enjoyed it, I decided to apply for it myself. During my 12 months in the scheme, I was based in Engineering, looking after Bentley’s 3D printing facility. I didn’t know anything about it when I first joined, but quickly learnt about the technology and eventually put together a business case for a new printer.

‘Typically, you’re not asked to do placements in other areas of the business on the undergraduate scheme, but my manager was happy for me to get out there and experience other departments. I ended up spending some time in Sales and Marketing and their retailers, getting the chance to see the customer-facing side of Bentley. I also did school and university liaison activities with HR to encourage kids to get into automotive engineering. I even got the chance to spend a day at Oulton Park circuit for a driver training event.

‘I then returned to uni to finish my degree, but was really keen to come back to Bentley. Thankfully, I was nominated to take part in the graduate scheme and was contacted by HR, who asked if I’d be interested in a position in Quality. My first graduate role in Production Quality was a million miles away from what I’d experienced in Engineering, and required me to solve issues quickly and decisively.

‘Having worked in a variety of different Quality departments, the plan is to do my next placement in Reliability, testing the cars in hot and cold climates. I’m really looking forward to that – although I have to pass an advanced driving test before I start! I’m finding that with every new placement I notice things that overlap, so each time I learn something new I’m able to bring that to my next placement and really build my knowledge base.

‘The great thing about the undergraduate and graduate schemes at Bentley is the support and flexibility you’re offered by management and HR. I was assigned a mentor, and I have a meeting with them every week to discuss my progress and any feedback I’ve been given by my managers and Colleagues. You’re also constantly given opportunities to develop in loads of different areas of the company. They really encourage you to experience as many departments as possible, especially when you’re a graduate. And it’s a great reflection on Bentley’s Future Talent programmes that my sister joined the undergraduate scheme after me.’

Gemma Rigby, Graduate, Quality

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