Graduate Profile: Usman Sami Khan

We asked Mechanical Engineering graduate Usman Sami Khan how he was finding life at British Steel...

Age: 22
Position at British Steel: Graduate Mechanical Engineer 
Course: B.Eng Mechanical Engineering
University: University of Sheffield

What appealed to you about British Steel?

Whilst skimming through various graduate schemes, British Steel’s graduate scheme really stood out to me because it provided a structured two year training scheme with rotations across different engineering departments, providing an in-depth comprehensive training into the world of steel-making. In addition, being an international student studying here in the UK, British Steel’s graduate scheme also stood out to me because of the fact that they sponsor international students for a Tier 2 work visa.

What duties does your new role include? 

As part of the two-year graduate scheme, there are four six-month rotations across different engineering departments.

I am currently on a six-month placement in Caster 4, which is one of the continuous casters producing steel blooms. As part of this, I am currently involved in the maintenance of the caster, where I shadow colleagues on different maintenance tasks which may be either planned, or caused by a sudden breakdown. I have also been given a maintenance project to work towards during my six months over here.

How did your degree prepare you for your new position? 

I believe the degree you study at university really helps you bring some solid skills on the table. Learning in a classroom is one thing, but actually seeing the theory being applied in practical industrial applications makes you understand things in a whole new perspective. My dissertation provided me with a chance to work towards a structured objective, conducting experiments and working towards tight deadlines to ensure a timely completion. Presenting my work towards a panel of assessors instilled a sense of confidence towards my work, which will help me present the work I carried out as part of my placement to senior engineers here at British Steel.

None of the work given to you here is just thrown at you – there is prior training and courses to attend to help aid your understanding before you can crack on with the work.

What are your new colleagues like? 

The working environment over here is absolutely great for young engineers like myself. My colleagues are always ready to help and always willing to assist with any questions that I may have. I have been stuck plenty of times trying to learn new things about the casting process and machinery and have always gone to someone for help with absolutely no hesitation at all. All my colleagues are very welcoming and I have settled in well with the team here at Caster 4 in absolutely no time!

Do you have any advice for graduates applying for British Steel? 

Apply early on to beat the competition and really focus on your application, providing evidence of skills you can bring to the company which can set you apart from the rest of the candidates. These skills may be coming from either your academic qualities or from your extra-curricular activities, whatever they may be. Remember to structure your answer well and really hone it to the core competencies required for the role, whilst also aligning your answer to the core values of the company.