Sophie Lonsdale

What are you doing now?Sophie Lonsdale 2.jpg

I work in Central London within the utilities sector. I’m currently based on a site in Kensington overseeing the mechanical and electrical fit out installation of a £22 million residential development as part of my graduate scheme.

During my time in South Craven Sixth Form I discovered that I enjoyed CAD and it's been great to continue developing that through my university course and placement. After leaving school I attended Loughborough University to study a degree in Industrial Design and Technology with a placement year, which I spent in Norfolk at Foster Refrigerator as part of their design team. I worked extensively with CAD and the research and development department during the design and testing phase of a new product for Nando’s. 

Whilst my current sector isn’t originally what I’d planned to do after completing my degree, and wasn’t completely related to my degree subject, I’m so glad I made the decision to take this opportunity as I’ve quickly come to love it. As part of my scheme I have the chance to experience CAD from an architectural perspective, which I’m looking forward to!

What advice would you give to your 17-year-old self?

Don’t be so hasty in trying to leave education.

During my university course selection I had no intention of doing a placement year in industry as I was so keen to complete my degree and get a job within design. My year in industry was a fantastic opportunity to work in the field I wanted to go into and find out exactly what I enjoyed and what didn’t. I also gained practical experiences that put me ahead of other candidates when applying for my current role.

What are you most proud of?

Making the most of the opportunity to work in a sector I never thought I’d have an interest in. Whilst females working in engineering is improving, in construction trades it is still a rarity.

I’m still learning as I work, however site-based experience has been paramount to my progress - I hope I can continue this and work towards project management.