January 26, 2018, by sustainablenottingham
Career profile: Tim Gale
The latest in our series of career profiles features Tim Gale, who studies MEng Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham and is currently out on a placement year.
What is your role, how long have you been in it and where are you based?
I work for Nottingham City Council, at Loxley House next to Nottingham Station. My role is a support officer within the Go Ultra Low Nottingham team, helping with delivery on the Go Ultra Low project, which is about increasing the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) within the Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Derby area. We are doing this by installing a public EV charge point network using £2m of funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), as well as promoting sustainable transport with local residents and businesses. I have been in this role since August 2017, and will be in the job for a total of roughly one year.
That doesn’t sound like Chemical Engineering, why did you apply for this role?
Chemical Engineering teaches us many transferable skills, and to truly develop it can help to experience the world outside of an insular circle. I applied for this role for three reasons: I believed that I could do what was asked of me; I was interested in the subject matter around ULEVs; and I truly want to make a difference to the environment of Nottingham. Since starting my degree here, I have grown to love the city, so if I can help make it a nicer place for our citizens, then that is what I want to do.
How did your studies help you get the placement?
During the interview, I showed my potential manager that I was passionate about electric vehicles and sustainability, and I demonstrated transferable skills that I had gained throughout my degree. These included strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with many people easily through my group projects. I also demonstrated that I had extracurricular experience with organisation, and used examples from my personal life and societies to prove these. University was a big contribution to all of these as I had the opportunity to talk about societies I joined and work I did to demonstrate my skills.
What do you do on a daily basis?
All sorts. I work in a dynamic team with many different skills, so I can be needed to help with site surveys for locating where we will be putting electric vehicles one day, and then need to manage our social media and schedule the next week of posts the next. My role is ever changing, but includes a fair amount of engaging the public about our air quality in the city and our electric vehicle and sustainable transport plans to combat these issues.
What advice would you give current students looking to get a job, both generally and at Nottingham City Council?
Generally, you need to be yourself. If you pretend to be someone you are not, the interviewer will likely spot it, and if they do not it will be obvious when you start the job. Show you are passionate about what you are talking about, and make it relevant to the role you will be undertaking, if only as an example of skills you have gained. Nottingham City Council is a diverse and forward-thinking local authority, so you should show what your view is for the future of Nottingham, and that you are passionate about the city.