MEET THE TEAM | Jacob Watson, Warehouse Operative & T-Level Placement

Cottam welcomes to the team Jacob who joined Cottam this June as a Warehouse Operative. When he returns to Sunderland College in September he will be starting his second year of a T Level in Engineering and will complete an industry placement at Cottam. 

  • Tell us about your course and what you’re studying… 

I am studying a T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing. The T Level is a great way for me to start my career in engineering because it combines studying in a classroom with a placement in industry – great for my CV! I’ve learned about lots of different engineering skills and technologies that I’ve been able to apply while I’ve worked at Cottam over the summer. 

  • Why did you choose to complete your placement at Cottam? 

When I was looking for a company to do my placement with, I wasn’t sure which area of engineering I wanted to work in. When you do a placement in a large business often you are doing the same thing every day, so I knew I wanted to work for a smaller organisation where I would get experience in lots of different areas. At my interview with Cottam, I met Alan (Crook, MD) who was very friendly – my mum has always told me how important it is to have a good boss and the first time I met Alan he put me at ease. 

  • How have you applied the knowledge learnt on your course to your job at Cottam? 

At college we get to use lots of different machines in the workshop like the CNC machine and the lathe, and I’ve been able to use my skills on the machinery at Cottam to make our technical and custom brushes. 

We also work on projects that involve lots of different areas of engineering like mechanical and electrical. For example, we were given a broken chlorine water pump with diagrams and requirements for how the pump should work. We then had to decide on the best arrangement for how to fix or replace it. I’ve taken the skills I developed doing those projects at college and applied them to my work at Cottam. 

We also study different health and safety regulations like COSHH so it’s been interesting to see how that applies in the workplace. 

  • What are your ambitions after you finish college? 

I want to stay working in engineering, it’s a good career with lots of job security and it will always be needed. I also really like understanding how things in our world work so that we can improve the things we already have. After I finish my T Level, I’d like to do an apprenticeship in mechatronics engineering. My placement with Cottam will be very useful when I start applying for roles because I will have ‘real-world’ examples I can talk about at interviews of projects I’ve worked on here. 

  • What three items would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island? 

I’d definitely take some water with me, so I knew I had something to drink. Then I’d probably take a football and my phone so I wouldn’t be bored! 

  • Tell us a random fact about yourself that no one would know. 

When I was in primary school we took part in Mathletics and I was told I was in the top 50 in the world at Maths, which definitely comes in handy as an engineer. 

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