Harvey Pizey

About me

I'm starting a new job in September as a Graduate Project Manager for Arup, a global engineering consultancy based in London. I've just finished a five-year Integrated Masters degree of Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management at the University of Bath. During my degree I spent a summer working as an engineer for BAE Systems in Cumbria, and I completed a year-long industrial placement with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in West Sussex.

Left school

June 2018.

Senior Phase

In S5 I achieved National 5 (SCQF level 5) in Maths, English, French, Physics, Chemistry, Graphic Communication and Higher (SCQF level 6) Music.

In S5 I achieved Higher (SCQF level 6) in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, French and German.

In S6 I achieved Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) in Maths, Physics and Mathematics of Mechanics as well as an Open University module (SCQF level 7) in French Studies.. I was also Head Boy during my sixth year.

Choosing my Destination

I was initially keen to work in the motorsport industry and throughout school I managed to get some useful work experience and volunteering opportunities with racing teams. I did this by being proactive - speaking to people at events and emailing companies to ask if I could help out. While spending a week at the Williams Formula 1 Team I met an engineer who studied at the University of Bath and he spoke very highly of it. This led to me looking outside of Scotland for university and choosing a course best suited to me.

While at Bath, I've completed several industrial placements which have been invaluable for guiding where I want to work in the future. After a year with the Bespoke Manufacturing division of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, I decided to specialise my degree to Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management. This has made it easier to approach my current position as an Engineering Project Manager.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

While at schooI, I loved the music department. I was involved in most of the ensembles available and made many friends through it. This continued into university, where I was a member of the University of Bath Big Band and I had some fantastic experiences, including selling out the biggest venue in Bath and winning the ""Best Big Band of the South West"" competition. Music has always allowed me to broaden my circle and make friends who study different things, and I hope this will continue as I start my new life in London.

At work, I have been involved with several opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience. At Rolls-Royce I would often ask colleagues what their day was looking like and offer to help if needed, so I had a broad circle of people I could call on in the future if needed. Through this I became part of a project to develop innovative future features using untested technology, which developed my project management and coordination skills.

Skills I've developed

Inter-personal skills are crucial to succeed in the work environment. Work is all about relationships, and at the start of your career relationships with colleagues are very important. For example, at the start of my year at Rolls-Royce I realised that my manager did not want a detailed description of every task I did. He was a busy person and would appreciate it far more if I was able to summarise and clearly articulate what the outcomes of my work were, so he would be able to decide the next steps. Being aware of the people around you and what they are looking for is a useful skill.

Another important skill is knowing when to ask for help. Too soon, and you risk not learning from your mistakes as others help you instead of solving it yourself. Too late, and you can spend hours trying to solve a problem that a colleague can solve in seconds. It is important to recognise that it is impossible to learn without help from others - collaboration is essential.

My Advice

I would say that it's good to start thinking about your future earlier rather than later. Even just having a look at university courses can give you an idea of what is out there, and it can allow you to focus on the subjects needed for those courses. I was working as a student ambassador at an open day for my university recently, and it was surprising how many people came up to me and asked about engineering, but who weren't studying the right subjects at school to apply for an engineering course. 

It also takes time to decide what you want to do, and it gives you a chance to get some experience. Experience looks great on applications and your CV, but the real value comes from knowing what you enjoy or don't enjoy. Many subjects, such as engineering, can't be studied in school so having some exposure to an engineering workplace helps so much. Most companies are very willing to take on students for work experience, but the opportunities are not always listed on the website - be proactive and contact them anyway! If you don't ask, you never know what opportunities are there.