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Mark O'Neill

Career Path: Cable Design Engineer, JDR Cables
Location: Hartlepool, UK

Following graduation I was hoping to join a new and innovative industry, capable of growth for years to come. When seeing a job listing for JDR Cables, I knew it was the role for me. It involves innovation in both the oil & gas sector as well as renewables. I've quickly gained knowledge in a niche industry that will be useful for years to come.

What are you doing now?Mark O'Neill

I'm aiming to get chartered in the coming years as well as progressing into a more senior role within my current job. By gaining a new level of competency in the role, I see myself becoming more reliable, which is something that I'm proud of.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

As a well respected university in the same part of the country that I was in, I felt that I could get a qualification that I could be proud of. Northumbria also offered me the chance to grow as a person, participating in extra curricular activities such as volunteering and work.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

At the start of my time at university, there was an appropriate amount of time in lectures, helping me to get used to being at university and to get a good baseline to grow on. In later years, I was given more free space to work out of lectures, which was a refreshing situation compared to previous education.

How connected was your course with industry?

My course allowed me to gain an internship between my third and fourth years. Without my time at university, there wouldn't have been a chance of getting that role or my current position.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

It gave me enough of a level to feel confident in my abilities, but not overloading me with information that wasn't relevant to certain industries. This then aided me in my final year and was a key factor in getting my current role.

What was the best thing about your course?:

The range of teaching styles employed by the various lecturers, meaning that there was a style that everyone could feel comfortable with.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Starting off on a BEng course and progressing to the MEng variant gave me the confidence to know that I was worth an interview, and then worth getting a position in work. This confidence has taken me through some key parts in my life since, and has served me well.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

By gaining a sound knowledge of design, it was possible for me to join a range of industries. I'm now in a position where I don't actually use a lot of the tools that I was taught, but I also learned the necessary transferable skills to proceed in a range of sectors.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The range of options for both curricular and extra-curricular opportunities going on. These are often overlooked.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Be open. Be willing to make friends at every opportunity and these years will be the best of your life.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Opportunities, Growth, Friendship

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