In this career story, a glimpse into the working day of our new colleague Elsie Harper-Tarr in her first technical job since leaving Fontys Hogeschool Engineering & Automotive in Eindhoven. What have been the most important changes in the transition from student to full-time employee at ACE development & engineering?
Elsie: "That's an easy list to summarize:
Get up early in the morning. Although you can work with sliding hours at ACE, you don't want to disappoint your team by showing up late in the morning. One of the biggest changes from student to employee is that you are not only responsible for yourself.
Quick breakfast in the morning while watching the morning news.
Prepare your lunch. No more café lunch with grilled cheese sandwich! On the other hand, this turns out to be a good money saver at the same time.
Because of the Covid-19 precautions, I sometimes work at home at the dinner table. I recommend a good chair! Incidentally, ACE development & engineering provides everyone with excellent home office furniture such as a professional desk and chair.
More money! The first thing I did was switch from a small bike to a regular size bike! And I was able to buy a house! "
How is your first project at ACE development & engineering?
Working at the ACE co-development team for a major ACE customer's tooling department has given me a lot of new insights and experiences. Starting in this ACE team for was a bit overwhelming. For example, there is a whole website full of abbreviations that are used. Thousands! You have to start learning the jargon. But the ACE colleagues are very nice and relaxed if you don't understand everything right from the start.
Did you get any training from ACE?
Elsie: "At the start of my contract, I had a five-week training course with a small group of other new colleagues. There was a lot of feedback from our chief engineer."
How well did your studies at Fontys prepare you for this job?
Elsie: "I really feel that it has been good for me that Fontys has organized its educational program in a problem-solving way. That narrows the gap between education and working at a company like ACE."
Is engineering also a factor in your free time?
Elsie: "Yes! Together with my boyfriend I am renovating an old Ford transit westfalia to use for holidays and travelling. We bought her in December 2019 and have been slowly fixing her up in our spare time. These fixes include both cosmetics, and functional issues, so besides the painting and adding floor and making her look pretty, we also have to make sure that she drives! We (then, still being students) decided that getting the timing belt professionally changed was too expensive… and if the guys at the garage can fix it, why can’t we?!
Anyone who has already tried this can tell you that it’s not an easy task… you need to make sure that the position of the cog doesn’t change at all, otherwise it will completely mess up the engine. Despite not having the proper equipment, we managed to avoid explosion, along with any other disastrous side effects, so all-in-all, it could be called a successful fix!"
Was it difficult to adapt to the Dutch language?
During my studies at Fontys I was an active member of Innovum and through spending a lot of time with the Dutch native students I felt that my Dutch language skills really improved. At ACE we work in international teams but it's a plus to speak Dutch!
Thank you for your time Elsie, we wish you all the best at ACE development & engineering!
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