HORIBA MIRA Apprenticeship Q&A

Jack Wilkinson -  Environmental and Aerodynamics Apprentice

Jack joined the team in 2015 and is currently studying for his Level 2 Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering with North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
Being able to work, alongside going to college, really appealed to me for two reason. Firstly, I was able to learn new skills and continue to develop the skills I already have during college hours. And secondly, being able to practically put these skills to use, in one of the best facilities in the UK, whilst earning alongside this, meant I could get the most out of my time.

Why did you choose to do your apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA?
I chose an apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA due to their worldwide recognition for being one of the best places to test any form of transportation. I am really interested in cars, and particularly engineering, therefore new an apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA would be a great way to not only gain new skills but develop my interest in engineering. I think working at a company like HORIBA MIRA is going to be great for my future in the automotive and engineering industry – it’s a great thing to have on your CV.

How did you prepare for the application and interview process?
I prepared for my interview at HORIBA MIRA by doing a lot of research into their history and all the different aspects of the company. I think this is a really beneficial thing to do, as it allowed me to demonstrate to the employer the effort that I can put into my work, whilst also assisting me in answering any questions about HORIBA MIRA and the work they do. As part of my research, I also spoke to my family members that already work in the industry, which easily allowed me to brush up on any aspects of engineering I was unsure of.

What made you interested in choosing engineering as a career?
I believe you should always work in an industry that you have a real passion for, and for me, that’s cars and engineering. I love cars and have always been interested in learning how they function, therefore I believed a career in engineering would enable me to pursue something loved - it was a really simple choice for me.

What do you enjoy most about working at HORIBA MIRA?
The experiences I have on a daily basis at HORIBA MIRA truly make me enjoy working there. I get to test all different types of cars, in all different types of conditions; from new cars to old cars, and snowy weather to heavy rain, it’s such an exciting place to work and comparing the results from each test is really interesting. You don’t realise how much goes into testing a car until you see the vast facilities a place like HORIBA MIRA has.

What is an average day like for you at HORIBA MIRA?
I tend to get to work at HORIBA  MIRA for 8:30am and my first job is to set up the data reading equipment - we do this to ensure the chambers are at the correct temperature. As previously mentioned, my day can consist of many different tests and a variety of different vehicles. We then usually load the car that we are testing onto the rig, whilst assisting the customer to set up their equipment. Dependent on the customer and what they would like to test, the temperature may need to be changed. The tests are then run and we collect all the data provided, which then gets sent to the customer.

What has been the most beneficial aspect of this apprenticeship for you?
I think the most beneficial aspect of my apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA has been the experience I have gained. Working with some of the industries best engineers has enabled to me have access to a world of knowledge, and getting to put my own knowledge and skills into use on a daily basis is extremely helpful to my learning. The qualifications and experience I will gain from working at HORIBA MIRA will hopefully give me a great head start in the industry and enable to me stand out in the future.

Is there anything about doing an apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA that surprised you?
I think the thing that surprised me the most was the work that goes into testing a car. Having always been a lover of cars, it’s really surprising to see the effort and sheer amount of testing that companies must undertake in order to ensure they meet all the regulations and standards that have been set. For the simplest of things, several tests across several hours may need to take place. It’s great that I get to learn new things about something I’m really interested in.

Where would you like your career to go from here?
After I have completed my apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA and gained my qualifications, I would like to do one of two things; gain a wider variety of skills and expand my knowledge across several aspects of the company, potentially working for different departments at HORIBA MIRA, or, continue to use the skills I have gained during my apprenticeship and work for a large car company, expanding my experience in Mechanical engineering.

What advice would you give to a young person considering an apprenticeship?
From my experience as an apprentice, the best pieces of advice I could give to a young person is to definitely do an apprenticeship. The skills you learn, people you meet and the experiences you gain from completing an apprenticeship is priceless. Being able to work in an industry you love, whilst earning, is definitely something I would recommend to anyone.