Michell Schimanski, Lead Electrical Engineer

I studied electrical engineering at university, and then stayed on to work there and complete my PhD. It was at one of the university careers fairs that I first came across Baker Hughes. Instantly, I was fascinated by the technologies they were using.

I first worked in Systems Engineering where I was responsible for defining new standards for our products, which involved a lot of conceptual design. This goes to show that Baker Hughes is a company that’s always looking to progress and be better at what it does.

Of course, there’s a strong technical element to my job, but I’m also building my people management skills by leading and setting targets for a five-strong team of electrical engineers.

It was the technology that initially appealed to me, and three years into my career I haven’t been disappointed. Everything here is high-tech. ‘State of the art’ is really the only way to describe our components.

I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here. My specialization has always been electrical engineering, but on my current project I’m working alongside mechanical engineers, materials specialists, and IT professionals. We’re always learning off each other and understanding the constraints different teams work under and, believe me, when I say that my English has improved no end working with other people.

As well as learning on the job, I’ve attended a whole range of courses. As a new recruit I attended the Baker Hughes Engineering Development Program. So much was packed into the 2 1/2 weeks. We learned all about the oil industry and the company, as well as picking up some core skills; it was also a great opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world.

If you want to become a specialist in some aspect of the work, there are always external classes you can attend. I’ve attended numerous technical classes here in Germany, and I’ve also been on a project management course in Brussels.

It’s been really refreshing for me to join a company where such an emphasis is placed on teamwork. When I was studying for my PhD, I was either working on my own or in a big company where there was no interaction between disciplines and little access to managers. Things are completely different here. You’re working with specialists in different fields so you get to see the big picture and everyone gets on so much so that I frequently meet up with colleagues on weekends. I honestly believe I would be hard pressed to find a company with a friendlier atmosphere.

You’ve got to be a team player who’s not afraid of talking to people if you want to do well at Baker Hughes. There’s a very open culture, and you’re encouraged to go to people with questions; if the person you ask doesn’t know the answer, they’ll always refer you to someone else.

Interesting work at the boundaries of technology, constant learning opportunities, and friendly, helpful people; my three years here couldn’t have gone better. As for the future, the next step would be to move into a project management role. I’m keen to move my career in a management direction without relinquishing my hands-on technical involvement, and Baker Hughes is certainly the place to do that.

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