I really enjoy working at Cavendish Nuclear, the Commercial team especially; it is quite a big team which is dispersed across all the Cavendish Nuclear offices. We are a close working team and we meet regularly to have overview on what everybody is working on. I have had to move around quite a lot and Cavendish Nuclear have been very supportive. Each office I have relocated to has had a really strong and supportive network of graduates and employees.
The achievement I am most proud of is my secondment to the government in my 3rd year. I worked for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and it is an achievement because it was a new opportunity that hadn’t been available in this business before. An example of a challenge I had to deal with is when I was working on quite a significant bid for Cavendish Nuclear and we were dealing with a US supplier. We were working to very tight deadlines and unfortunately the US supplier hadn’t provided the quotations in time so it was on me, to call him in the middle of the night, on his personal mobile and find out where they were. Luckily I had some prior engagement with him and we had built up a good relationship, and the quotations were sent over quickly.
As a direct result of this secondment I was awarded “Graduate Learner of the Year” by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). These prestigious awards are a celebration of the achievements and successes of individuals working in the engineering industry. I am incredibly proud that my hard work has been recognised and this is also a real testament to the support I have had during the graduate programme.
When I started at Cavendish Nuclear, at first I was worried that it would be quite male dominated but having been here for 4 years, it isn’t that way at all, it is a very diverse company and diverse industry. I have been to several ‘Women in Nuclear’ events which really do support diversity in the industry. The culture here is people-focused, they are mindful that in order for the business to grow, they need to develop their people and that comes through the graduate scheme.
Before joining here I never thought I would get the opportunity to work in government and be award winning!
I first worked for Cavendish Nuclear over the summer holidays whilst studying at The University of Sheffield. I was accepted onto their undergraduate programme and spent several weeks getting involved in engineering tasks ranging from CAD to practical work in radiologically controlled areas. There was also a chance to visit another office where we had talks on the nuclear engineering sector, and about how the company operates. Whilst there, I met the other summer interns and graduates from the year above, which was a great chance to find out about working life at the company.
The internship was a rewarding experience, culminating in me being fast tracked through the graduate recruitment process in my final week – i.e. skipping the assessment centre – and leaving with a job offer!
I returned to university for my final year without the worry of job-hunting, and was even invited to join Cavendish’s stand when they came to Sheffield’s Engineering Careers Fair. It was strange to be on “the employers’ side” of a careers fair whilst my friends were on the other, but great to already be treated as part of the company!
I graduated in June with a 2:1 MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering and in September I joined the Cavendish Nuclear Graduate Programme.
Since starting, I’ve been given a lot of support to help me settle in and begin progressing towards my long term goal of chartership. The buddy system, which pairs up new graduates with people from the year above, was an excellent way to get to know people in the office, and begins long before you arrive. I was put in contact with my buddy around February, so I had several months to ask questions about starting work and get them answered in plenty of time. I was also invited by my buddy to have a look round the office where I would be working, and meet the other Leicester graduates a few weeks before starting.
The graduate programme revolves around having 3-month placements in different departments – where you want to work is up to you! So far I have worked for a team that designs tools to inspect the cores of nuclear reactors, a team focused on decommissioning, and a commercial team in charge of acquiring equipment for project work. I’m also planning to work on-site at a power station next year.
Each placement has been different and helped me develop different skill areas, something which is very helpful for working towards chartership.
My advice to new graduates is to be as proactive as you can and jump at any opportunity that presents itself! There’s a lot you can accomplish here if you put yourself out there
Working for Cavendish Nuclear has enabled me to develop a wide range of skills as well as my engineering ability. I have been involved in a range of engineering roles including producing calculations, developing designs and supporting equipment trials. For one of my placements, I worked on a one of Sellafield’s largest projects where I gained experience of delivering nuclear decommissioning on a huge scale. It was great to see equipment installed at site and know that I had played a part in delivering the project. I am currently seconded into Magnox as part of the Technical Function; it’s a great opportunity to support decommissioning of all of the Magnox fleet and very interesting work, every day is different.
Cavendish Nuclear has a great culture which focuses on people and development to enable the business to grow. The office culture is very friendly; everyone is approachable and supportive and it’s a great place to work. The Graduate Development Programme provides a lot of training and development of interpersonal skills including leadership and team working. The graduate community is also a strong support network and provides contacts throughout all of the Cavendish Nuclear offices.
One great thing about Cavendish Nuclear is that if you want to challenge yourself and do something different to your day job, there will always be opportunities if you ask for them. I am currently working as part of a group to develop the diversity and inclusion strategy for Cavendish Nuclear. It’s very exciting to see how the business will grow and develop over the next few years. I have also had the opportunity to shadow the MD and attended executive meetings where I learnt more about how the business is run at a senior level and how these decisions influence my day job.
The highlight of my career in Cavendish Nuclear so far was being nominated for two national awards: I was shortlisted for IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year and I was a finalist for ECITB’s Women in Engineering Award. I was very proud of this achievement and felt that I had far surpassed my expectations of my career when I graduated from University.
Cavendish Nuclear provides a great range of opportunities across the nuclear industry and is very supportive of development. If you want to challenge yourself and find out what you’re capable of achieving, it’s the right place for you.
“Working for Cavendish Nuclear has given me an exciting career and the opportunity to achieve far more than I ever expected”