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Engineering Graduate Program – The Experience of One Woman Launching Her Career

Engineering Graduate Program – The Experience of One Woman Launching Her Career - Women engineer standing in factory space - Polly Kalogeropoulou, Parker Engineering Graduate ProgramFinding the right first job after graduating from college takes some effort. After reading the career pages of the companies you’re considering, you might still wonder how much of what they say is really what they do.

A recent profile article featuring women in engineering, explains more about one of our training programs for new graduates. Polly Kalogeropoulou, a member of our Engineering Graduate Program in Europe, candidly shares her experiences in studying to become an engineer and beginning her career at Parker in the article published by The Manufacturer.

Parker's U.K. based career website describes five reasons to apply to their graduate recruiting program. 

Parker graduates come from many different disciplines, and have different passions and talents. If you are keen to make the most of your potential, here are five good reasons why you should apply to Parker’s graduate training program.

  1. Hard work
  2. Great support
  3. Travel opportunities
  4. Job opportunities
  5. Professional development

Kalogeropoulou's experiences in the U.K. engineering training program fit well with those reasons.

Reason 1 - Hard work: Parker graduate projects are very hands-on, so you must be prepared to put the effort in...

“My experience as a design engineer has been by far the most challenging experience so far,” offers Kalogeropoulou. “My experience as a design engineer has been by far the most challenging experience. For the first month, I was working with theoretical models and various modelling tools, which are very similar to projects that I had completed at university. However, it’s different when you have strict deadlines and are obligated to fulfil customer needs in the real world of engineering.

Moving into the next phase of the project, building a new test rig from the scratch was very interesting but also challenging. I spent a lot of time in the development laboratory and I was heavily involved in assembling the system.”  

Engineering Graduate Program – The Experience of One Woman Launching Her Career - Polly Kalogeropoulou, Parker Engineering Graduate Program

Reason 2 - Great support: Join Parker, and you'll get tailored, practical training and support.  We'll assign you a mentor...

“Parker’s Graduate scheme is an IMechE accredited scheme offering full support to every trainee towards the chartership, along with full mentor support throughout,” commented Kalogeropoulou. “This was very appealing to me... I’ve met people within Parker that have given me invaluable advice and coached me on how to improve my way of working to be more efficient… At the same time, I was given full guidance for my IMechE chartership and I am working closely with my mentor to build my relevant competencies.”

Reason 3 -Travel opportunities: Many Parker graduate trainees get the chance to travel and learn about life in other cultures; it's a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn a new language and test your skills

“…it was also important that I could get the opportunity to work outside the UK for multicultural exposure...” recalled Kalogeropoulou. “For my third placement I chose Italy because I will be working as a project manager for an improvement project.”

Reason 4 - Job opportunities: Our work in 50 countries also means there are plenty of varied careers to choose from...

“The diversity of the roles that I have been exposed to so far have allowed me to build a stronger professional acumen...” noted Kalogeropoulou. “The project that I enjoyed most was being a stand co-ordinator at SPE Offshore Europe 2015. This experience was an unexpected opportunity that I got when I was working for the marketing department. Being on Parker’s stand for four days during the exhibition was a fascinating experience... I had never thought of a more commercial role.”

Reason 5 - Professional development: - This could take on the form of formal training in topics like presentation, leadership and time-management skills...

“I have also completed many training courses on a diverse range of topics including effective presentations, IOSH managing safely course and LEAN Boot camp… So far, it has been a very positively challenging period that has helped me to enhance my skillset.”

Kalogeropoulou had much more to say about her experiences as a woman in engineering. You can read the entire interview with in the April 2016 edition of The Manufacturer.

Learn more about opportunities for new grads at Parker.

Article contributed by Rosalie Peterson, administrative assistant, Automation Group, Parker Hannifin Corporation. 

Rosalie Peterson

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