Joey Ussher, 2018 Trade Scholar
A scholarship overseas to grow, learn and mature both professionally and personally. What an experience it was.
The 5th of June rolled by and it was departure day, nerves were high. First overseas trip, only one plane trip prior. Airports, security, immigration, passports and check-ins, all completely foreign territory. First leg into Sydney, then off to Heathrow via Abu Dhabi.
Arriving safely into Heathrow the following day, I was picked up with close family friends and stayed for 5 days in Richmond, London. It was fantastic to catch up with friends, I was able to visit Windsor Castle, walks along the Thames and gardens along the way, Harrow School, Twickenham Stadium and Ascot, Eton College. On the way to my placement with RDM Group in Coventry I called in to Stonehenge, Bristol and Bath. Bath was amazing, the architecture and history is second to none, breathtaking.
10th of June, today is the day.
First day of my four-week placement with the driverless technologies team at Aurrigo in Coventry. I was welcomed with open arms immediately.
I had organised my placement with Scott Shearan, a past BBM Trade Scholar, who was an absolute pleasure to work with, his knowledge and skills, along with his mentorship were truly notable.
Over the next month and a half, I undertook a large variety of different tasks from harness manufacture and modifications, ECU programming, electrical and mechanical installation, most importantly though I was able to carry out diagnostics alongside Scott and the team.
We undertook a project for an autonomous dolly at Heathrow airport. Our focus was to get this ready for a trial at Heathrow, unfortunately due to circumstances outside our control we were unable to do so.
After my placement at RDM Group (Aurrigo) ended, I was able to line up a day visit to the Castrol Engineering testing facility at Pangbourne for a guided tour. Additionally, I was able to spend time with the electrical team about the design, set up and diagnostics on the engines. Photos and videos were strictly prohibited, videos and information can be found by searching “Castrol Pangbourne” on the internet. It was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand how one of the world’s leading manufacturers test its lubricants and products.
Once I was finished with Castrol, I enjoyed a British summer holiday travelling around and catching up with friends. I look back on my journey with the fondest of memories, I was able to experience another culture professionally and recreationally. As a farm kid from a small town on the east coast, big cities and international travel was a completely new experience. My personal growth was immense, to live and work in another country for three months taught me many life lessons. I have grown in confidence and my ability deal with unknown situations has also strengthened.
On a professional note, the work placement was amazing! As I mentioned earlier, the engineering team are an extremely talented group of people. I was blessed to have worked and learned alongside such a gifted team. My technical skills have grown, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working and was honoured with an offer of employment to stay. Due to my commitments back home, I kindly turned down this offer.
On returning to Australia I have since returned to the same employer and loved every minute. Opportunities are available for managerial roles and later business ownership. Both prospects are very exciting, and I look forward to the challenges and rewards down the track.
For more photos and details head to Joey’s BBM Scholarship blog on Facebook.