Name: Noemi Willenbockel
Courses: City & Guilds 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course
Noemi recently completed a 4 year MEng degree in Engineering with a specialisation in Electrical Engineering, particularly renewable energy technologies. She is now working as a graduate electrical engineer for a company dealing with the delivery of major infrastructure projects.
What is your reason for training?
My reason for training is to develop my skills and gain a better understanding of how electrical installations are designed and tested according to regulations. My educational background focused heavily on the science of electricity generation, transmission and distribution but didn’t teach me about the practicalities of installing a safe electrical system and the governing regulations involved in this. Learning more about how to apply the 17th edition to verify an installation will be hugely beneficial for my current work and future career.
Tell us about why you choose to become an electrician?
While I am not training to become an electrician, I chose to specialise in Electrical Engineering when studying a general engineering course as I was excited by the wide variety of potential work in the electrical industry and the key role of electricity in securing sustainable energy for the future.
How long have you been working in the electrical industry?
I have been working for 3 months now, since September 2017, following 4 years at university.
Tell us about your current job?
My current job is a Project Engineering role, which involves reviewing electrical designs for low voltage power installations and overseeing the progression of the project from the design stage, through to construction and then testing, commissioning and handover.
Why did you decide to take the 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course and how will this help you in your career?
I chose to attend this course to better understand the requirements for inspection and testing of electrical installations, as this is a key part of the commissioning process on any project. I specifically chose the City & Guilds 2392 course as I am new to testing and had no real practical experience. I wanted to develop my hands-on testing skills to become more familiar with electrical installations in a practical sense as my education to-date has been very theoretical. Learning to use real testing equipment on a sample installation will help me better visualise the design drawings I regularly review at work.
What other courses are you hoping to attend at Trade Skills 4U and why?
I would like to attend the City & Guilds 2396 Electrical Design course. Further knowledge of the design process will also help me in my current role of reviewing designs completed by others, as well as better qualifying me to complete my own designs in potential future job roles.
Tell us about your training experience with Trade Skills 4U?
I had a very good week at Trade Skills 4U. I felt that the course was of a suitable level, challenging enough to keep me fully engaged the entire time but with enough time to take in the course material so that I felt prepared for the assessments at the end of the week. I enjoyed the facilities, getting to practice tests on the demo boards, and found the overall atmosphere of the centre enjoyable.
What is the best experience you have had so far in your new career?
The best part of my new career so far has been the wide variety in my day to day work, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot in a short space of time and it’s been great to work on a real life project after many years of studying.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to continue to grow in my job role, developing more experience on project to work towards becoming a chartered Engineer. I would like to work on a range of infrastructure projects, getting to be involved in the whole process of a job from start to finish.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to retrain as an electrician?
My advice would be to not feel intimidated by the stereotypes of the electrical industry being heavily dominated by men. Throughout my time studying, and now working, in Engineering I haven’t felt out of place as a woman or underestimated.
What has your experience been like working in a typically male dominated industry?
I have yet to experience any particular negatives of working in a typically male dominated industry. It can be very noticeable at work sometimes how few women there are around in similar job roles to me but I haven’t felt as if I’ve been treated differently because of this. If anything, I’ve felt a lot of support as in general the industry appears to keen to attract and retain women in Engineering roles.
What opportunities do you think there are for women working in the electrical industry?
In my limited experience in the electrical industry, I believe that while it is very male dominated, this is largely to do with tradition rather than a lack of opportunities for women. Historically careers in the electrical industry haven’t been encouraged as an option for young women thinking about their future. If this were to change then maybe the industry could become more balanced.