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Katy's story

Katy Meaden, Process Engineer.

Interested in finding out what it is like to go through the application process for the James Walker graduate programme and what the jobs involve? Some of our previous and current graduates can guide you through their experiences.

Name: Katy Meaden
Role: Process Engineer

What made you apply to James Walker?
I applied to James Walker as I was looking for a hands-on job in the manufacturing industry. I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do but I never saw myself in an office based role so I was attracted to the rotating placements of the graduate scheme allowing you to properly experience different areas of the business. Also, in the long term I could see myself living abroad so the opportunity for a placement abroad definitely appealed to me.The application process to the James Walker graduate scheme is unique, Mike personally provides clear feedback after each stage. From day 1, it was clear how much the business values their people with a focus on their personal and professional development.

What was your first placement?
My first placement was in the Cockermouth factory, initially in the Materials Engineering team mixing batches of rubber, milling and testing. This allowed me to understand the need to meet standards and specifications required for different customers / industries. With little chemistry or rubber knowledge prior to starting in this role, by getting my hands dirty, I have learnt a great deal.

The graduate scheme is about creating your own journey, if there is an area that interests you the company is flexible and will accommodate this. After spending some time in the production cell, I found myself intrigued by what they do so I am now away to start a project in the Production Engineering team.

Most enjoyable part of your job?
The people! Walkers consists of a variety of knowledgeable and experienced individuals, there is always someone to help you with any problem or tell you a story.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Hopefully well on my way to being a chartered engineer and with some international experience under my belt. I hope to be at the forefront, helping to solve problems that occur in the manufacturing process.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy running and hiking, moving to the Lake District has been great to have hills right on your doorstep! I have always been a keen runner but living here has pushed me to start fell running.

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