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Working at Xaar: My student placement

By Jamie Hooper
Industrial placement student

Having never considered IP as a career option before, my eight weeks at Xaar may have completely changed my future career path leading into the final year of my degree. I’ve really enjoyed being able to work in engineering while having the added diversity of the legal elements as well.

The project I have been working on has involved analysing industry patents to better understand how Xaar can continue to be a market leader and how we can respond appropriately to competition – this has involved quite a lot of data processing and statistics which as awful as that might sound to some, actually tends to appeal to me as an Information Engineer.

During my time here, I also had the opportunity to go on a tour of the clean room at Huntingdon which was really fascinating despite the face mask taking some serious getting used to. One of the many things I have learnt while at Xaar: when you try to smile at someone while wearing a face mask, you’re not smiling – you’re glaring!
The culture here has meant that even as a temporary summer student I’ve truly felt like a part of the company. There is a real sense of cohesion within Xaar, from the regular briefings and updates by Directors on the bigger picture of project targets and the company strategy, to the involvement of all employees in suggesting ideas for new developments or changes to manufacturing processes at Huntingdon.

Having been very indecisive on my future career plans before I started at Xaar, I’ve now been able to start looking at IP opportunities for when I graduate next year. It would be great if there was an opportunity to come back and work for Xaar! I’m really glad that I’ve been given this opportunity to appreciate an area of engineering which would not have otherwise crossed my radar.

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