What is your role, and how did you arrive at your current position?My career with M Squared has been both exciting and challenging. It has seen me cover all the elements at the early stages of product development. During my time at the company, I have progressed from a graduate in the Mechanical Design Team to leading the Mechanical and Optical Manufacturing team where we fulfil the front-end manufacture of our entire product range. I started at M Squared back in 2014 as a Graduate Design Engineer. Working closely with the Mechanical Design team, I developed my skills and, after 18 months, I progressed to a fully-fledged Design Engineer.I began working on an array of small design tasks to establish the mechanical and optical principles, which led to me being responsible for one of the core products at M Squared. I then managed the design maintenance and mechanical assembly for this product. My involvement in the mechanical assembly became more involved as the company grew. I found myself co-ordinating build plans and building products more than designing the products themselves. This activity led to a greater role within manufacturing, where I now lead a team of technicians in the quality and assembly of our entire product range.What time do you wake up?
On a typical workday, I wake up around 7 am and get ready to catch the bus at quarter to 8.
When do you start?
I start work as soon as I get into the office at 8.50 am and prepare myself for the morning stand-up with the team at 9 am.
What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?
I usually try to get settled at my desk before our team meeting, however being part of one of the busiest departments at M Squared, I typically have someone waiting to speak to me when I arrive.
What attracted you to your career? Growing up in Glasgow, I have always had a passion for engineering and design - it's in the city's DNA. I am very much a product of my environment. When I was young, I was always playing with tools and misplacing them to my dad's dismay. I was fascinated to learn how things worked and how to fix them if they were broken. I went on to do a Product Design Engineering degree. It's all helped to carve the path to where I am today. What have been your biggest challenges in this role?Working as the head of a department that feeds all three of M Squared's business units is very challenging. We are a relatively small team compared with other areas of manufacturing so resource, communication and delegation are critical to ensure that everyone gets their products when they expect them.Describe your workspace.I am in quite a privileged situation. I get to see all sides of M Squared. I have a desk in the main office which is where I do most of my computer-based work, and I also have the opportunity to go through to the cleanroom environment and work with the team as the products go through their manufacturing stages.What kind of tools do you work with? The tools I use varies from day to day, but typically I do most of my work on a laptop, using Excel and Solidworks for BoM management and product documentation. Where and whenever possible, I enjoy getting hands-on with product assembly. Who do you interact most with?I interact with everyone at M Squared across manufacturing and the main office. It's a privilege to interact with everyone daily. Specifically, most of my time is spent interacting with my team in production along with the procurement team. Material flow is a critical part of what we do within our department - without the procurement team, it wouldn't be possible. In addition to the interactions within M Squared, I communicate externally with a number of our key suppliers to maintain high standards and precision engineering. How often do you get out of the office? Working within manufacturing, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit a number of our key suppliers throughout the UK. We are at an exciting time within the growth of the business, and it is important to have a hands-on approach. What do you most look forward to each day?Every morning I write a To-Do list, and if I manage to tick off one thing on that list, then it has been a good day.
What or who inspires you?
My main inspirations in life are my family and friends - both from a personal and professional sense.
What do you do for lunch?
When I am prepared - which isn't often the case - I make my lunch at home before coming to work. Lunch breaks are then spent with a few friends from M Squared, laughing and clearing our heads while we go for a walk or a drive.
Describe your best day at work to date.
To me, the best days at work are the ones where you find you have spent far too long on a particular problem but manage to find some sort of resolution by the end of the day. There is that sense of 'I can't believe it took us that long,' but at the same time, the sense of pride that you successfully solved the problem!
How does the working day end?
At the end of every day, I usually check in with the team to see what progress we have made throughout the day and if there are any problems that we need to deal with the following day. If it has been a busy day - most of them are - I try to take 5 minutes to answer any outstanding emails so that I have a clean slate starting the next day.
What time do you get home?
If I am fortunate to get a lift home, I arrive at my place just after 6 pm. If I have to get the bus, it is closer to quarter to 7.
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M Squared Life