Here, we cast the spotlight on Joel Collins, our third rising star and part of the ‘next generation’ at BGEN.
What is your current role?
I am a junior engineer, recently promoted from an apprentice systems integration & network engineer.
There is nothing I enjoy more than trouble shooting and problem solving. Also, I think if you asked my family and friends, they would say I am a logical thinker. All good traits for an engineer.
And an apprenticeship?
Yes. Following my A-levels, I decided that more full-time learning at university wasn’t for me.
I started my apprenticeship at BGEN in 2019, undertaking a degree qualification in Digital & Technology Solutions with Network Engineering at Staffordshire University.
How has BGEN supported your career progression?
Flexibility and help (when needed).
Flexibility wise the team let me manage my studies around the day job, and some weeks my study time has been outside the traditional allocated one day per week.
And the team has provided help throughout. For example, for my final project, Andy Marshall gave me tips on presenting to people, and a few of the engineers made themselves available so I could complete my primary research.
This support has helped to me achieve a first in my studies and I am extremely grateful to the team for their assistance.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I work with the wider team to support our clients, many of which are in the water industry. Day-to-day I work on projects involving HMI, PLC and Scada.
For one water customer, I recently installed a RSPAN network switch at one of its sites to help improve connectivity and security. Following a review of the project, this type of network configuration is being rolled out to other sites. I was particularly proud of this.
While studying for my degree I was also undertaking additional training to enable me to provide more support to the business. Courses included Hirschmann (ethernet & managed switches), Mitsubishi (HMI & PLC), DOMS, ECS and National Water Hygiene.
This has certainly proved worthwhile as I am now working in the business as a junior rather than graduate Engineer.
I am ambitious, and within the next five years, I would like to be a senior engineer.
BGEN on Joel:
“Joel was the first apprentice we took on for the SI Team, and it has been an enormous success story. This has resulted us taking on another five apprentices since Joel joined us.”
“Joel is well respected in both our Derby and Stafford offices, and we have received great feedback from clients, which is always nice to hear. Joel’s first-class degree is testament to his commitment and professionalism to the job.”