I applied to NI because I had used NI hardware and LabVIEW in a module in my degree, and could really see the benefits of it. I felt that NI was something I would like to advocate, so looked into the graduate positions available. The Engineering Leadership Programme sounded like a brilliant opportunity to develop technically, whilst also developing my soft skills. There seemed to be a variety in day to day work, is opportunity to travel within the UK, and Northern Europe, and the ethos seemed laid back, with a work-hard play-hard culture.
As well as my day-to-day role, I have had many opportunities to teach, both in the office, and on customers’ sites, and written several case studies with customers. I have been involved with recruitment and stem activities, like careers fairs and a head-start event, and also ran some hands-on tracks at the Aerospace and Defense Forum in Reading. I have also been involved in several Continuous Improvement projects alongside my work, to help integrate new starts into the company better.
There is always development and technical training going on in the office, a lot of it is optional – it is important for employees to take control of their career and development, and team leaders are brilliant at offering advice on this matter. There are many different directions that a career at National Instruments could take you – be it a Technical Sales Engineer role, where you must consult with your customers, ensuring you know their system requirements and offer the right solution; an Applications Engineering role, offering technical advice to customers who use our products, ensuring their success; a Technical Marketing role, ensuring that are products are messaged in the correct way, educating customers and employees of their benefits and uses.
The best thing about NI for me is the ethos; as mentioned previously, the company has a laid back, friendly culture, there is a lot of responsibility and trust given to employees. It is clear that employees are cared about, through the company’s ethos, and through different events that are put on for employees throughout the year, such as Employee Appreciation week, Summer Events, and the Christmas Meal.
My advice to someone looking to join NI is to ensure the Engineering Leadership Programme is what you want, it involves a lot of customer facing work, and no two days are the same. Take a pro-active approach – there are so many opportunities, but you won’t just be handed them, you need to be interested and ask about them!