Meet Our Graduates | Ryan
Posted on September 14th, 2017
In December 2016, Walker Filtration welcomed three new employees at their UK headquarters as part of our graduate development scheme. The programme provides the opportunity for the new recruits to rotate through departments and acquire a range of skills and experience.
This week we spoke to Ryan Jefferson to learn about his experience so far:
What were you doing before applying to the WF graduate scheme?
Before joining the Walker Filtration graduate scheme, I completed an apprenticeship at a nearby manufacturing site.
What made WF stand out as a company?
When I met with Lianne Walker at my first interview it was clear the company had good values. It seemed like a great place to develop new skills and progress.
How long did it take you to settle into the team?
As I joined Walker Filtration with two other graduates, I felt part of a team instantly. We completed a team building exercise which broke the ice, it really helped me to settle in quickly.
What has your experience been like so far?
I wasn’t expecting to have such an integral role in the bigger projects, however being involved has helped me to see the direct impacts they have on the business. It’s been very interesting.
How does working at Walker Filtration differ from your previous roles?
It’s very fast paced and different to my apprenticeship. On the graduate scheme things are constantly changing and you’ve got to adapt to the different roles. You get used to one role, complete your project, then you move to another department which is also an intense role and required to integrate yourself into a new team. Walker Filtration want us to rotate through departments so that we learn about all areas of the business, adapt to new environments, and apply our skills to different areas. Although it’s been challenging, the experience has been very rewarding.
What skills have you learned so far, and have you learned anything you didn’t expect to?
Being at Walker Filtration has strengthened the skills that I picked up in my engineering background. Being here I’ve had new experiences and gained more knowledge through working on various products, which has allowed me to put my engineering skills into practice and apply them to different projects.
Where do you see yourself in two years, after finishing the graduate development scheme?
We were told when we joined that the area we had previous training or experience in would be the last department we would be placed in, as the Company want us to develop our skills in areas we aren’t familiar with first and gain a comprehensive overview of the business. I’ve been in Quality, Supply and Process and, like all roles, I have experienced highs and lows. I’ve hit roadblocks in my projects along the way, but the challenge is to overcome these and find a solution or develop a contingency plan. I think all my placements so far have been positive – I have learned a lot and had a lot of good feedback. If you ask me where I want to be in two years, I’d have to see what the rest of the placements are like first.
Finally, what’s been the most rewarding part of your time here?
Reaching key milestones in a project and being able to see how much it has progressed. At the minute one of my projects has just finished; I’ve managed the design and development of packaging for the filter elements and duplex housings for Walker Filtration’s new filter range: ‘The New Alpha Series’. It was good to go to project meetings to see how the project is progressing and it is rewarding to complete a project and get the recognition for completing it successfully.