What does it take to become an electrical engineer?
One of the benefits of life at Smith Brothers is that our team is made up of people with varied interests and abilities. From frontline electricians and project managers, through to design specialists and administration staff, everyone brings something completely unique.
With lots of vacancies on our website – for a whole host of roles – we spoke to senior authorised person and HV fitter, Liam Green, to find out what it’s like to be a part of the Smith Brothers family, and how he got here.
Have you always wanted to be an electrical engineer?
Not exactly, I originally wanted to work in the world of mechanical engineering and motorsport. Even now, I never miss a F1 or WRC race – although the action is usually followed from the comfort of my living room rather than the pit lane!
In that case, how did you end up being a part of our team?
My dad is a project manager for Schneider Electric, and while discussing a job with one of his customers, he asked if there were any apprenticeships on offer for me. I was invited for an interview, and the rest, as they say, is history!
What did you study?
I completed a four-year electrical apprenticeship with Engineered System Electrical. During that time, I went to college in two-week blocks, and when I wasn’t studying, I’d be on site or in a workshop getting ‘hands on’ with transformers, switchgear, and LV feeder pillars.
What do you find so interesting about the job?
It sounds like a cliché, but every single day is different. Of course, it’s challenging, but it means I’m constantly learning new things and developing my own skillset. One day I could be at a food factory installing some new switchgear, the next I’m at the Top Gear test track providing maintenance work – it’s brilliant!
What was it about Smith Brothers that made you want to join?
I saw the company was growing and wanted to be a part of it. I was looking to advance my own career and capabilities – and thought Smith Brothers would be the best company to do that with! What advice would you give to someone who is considering this career?
100% come and get involved! The industry is forever growing, and you will not regret it!
Do you get to spend lots of time on site/the road? What is it like working on some seriously HV projects?
I work all over the UK, so I do spend a lot of time on the road visiting our various sites, whether it be installing, switching, or maintenance. I really enjoy working on big projects too, and love being part of a bigger team. It really is rewarding to see a project through – from start to finish.
Has there been anything interesting you have been able to work on since you have joined Smith Brothers?
I would say the most interesting place I have been too would be the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Liverpool. To see all the vehicles being built as you go through the factory was something I found mega! Do you have any ambitions within the role, where could you see yourself going in the next five years, for example?
I’d love to follow in my dad’s footsteps and work as part of the project management team. I currently work very closely with the Smith Brothers PMs and – as an outsider at least – find their jobs interesting and challenging.
What are the most challenging things that you have faced, that perhaps you did not expect when you first joined?
Working to a shutdown deadline – it’s always a challenge when you have to meet a cutoff date! However, I think that, because I was in the industry prior to joining Smith Brothers, you learn to expect the unexpected!
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Be like a sponge – absorb all information other people give to you.”