Working at Walker Filtration: Jofran Gonzalez

Posted on October 7th, 2020

As Jofran, our Chemical Engineering Intern, comes to the end of his one year industrial placement, we caught up with him to have a chat about his experience working here at Walker Filtration.

Looking back on your year at Walker Filtration, what skills do you think you have gained from your role?

I think the main skill that I have been able to develop this year is problem solving, given the nature of my project, which was to find an environmentally sustainable solution for some filtration products that we make here on site. Alongside this, time management has played a big part in my development, as sometimes during testing a problem would occur and I would have to juggle the new problem and attend to business critical activities first, while also staying on track with my main project. Multitasking and agility when working is another skill that I improved on, as sometimes I was working on the production floor, sometimes I was working in the lab, so I was doing a lot to contribute to different areas of the business.

If you could take away one thing from your time at Walker Filtration, what would it be?

All of these skills combined instilled one main thing in me that I didn’t really have when I started the role, which is confidence. When I first began my placement I didn’t know how much of an impact I could make on the business or how many achievements I could accomplish. When I started seeing results from my efforts, and seeing how my suggestions were impacting the products and the business is when I really started to see my confidence grow. If I looked at myself a year ago and I look at myself now, I see two completely different people. That confidence is definitely the main thing I will carry going forward.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to take an industrial placement?

I would say come prepared and willing to learn, because at Walker Filtration I learnt something new every single day. So having the willingness to learn and to embrace  change is definitely important in a placement. Another piece of advice would be to take every chance you get to participate, whether that be in meetings, presentations, or projects. That exposure will improve your confidence, and the excitement, challenge and learning experiences you get from these opportunities are crucial to your personal and professional growth.

What will you miss the most about Walker Filtration?

There are so many things that I will miss about the company, but what I will miss the most about Walker Filtration, is the people. The people that I have met here are incredible, you can learn something from absolutely anyone. We all have our own skills and expertise, but by working together we can become something far greater than the sum of our parts. That’s what makes the company great.

Are You Looking Forward to Going Back to University?

Yes, I am, after acquiring much more empirical knowledge during my placement, I am looking forward to going back and combining these skills with theoretical knowledge, improve my understanding of how engineering works, and make myself a better engineer in the process. When I started this placement, I wanted to combine theory with practice, and now I have that practice I want to reapply it to engineering theory in a way I haven’t been able to do before.

How Would You Feel About Returning to Walker Filtration After Your Studies?

Yes, absolutely, I would love to! As I mentioned earlier, with the confidence that I have now after a year here at Walker Filtration, I could definitely see myself continuing in the industry, in compressed air and gas filtration, and particularly at Walker Filtration.

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