Marta Garcia-Santamaria: Loving every minute of being an Electrical Project Engineer at JLR
9 August 2012
Because I grew up loving Maths and Science, I knew from an early age that I wanted a Science-based career. So, when it came to choosing my degree course in Madrid I decided that Physics was the way to go, as it would provide a strong foundation for Engineering. I used to tutor younger students in Maths and Science to help fund my studies. After that I studied in France for a year, and then completed my Masters in Materials Engineering at Loughborough University.
I joined Jaguar Land Rover 14 years ago as a graduate. Now, having worked my way up from Programme Project Manager, my role is Electrical Project Leader. I’ve been doing this for 18 months now, representing the Electrical department in front of the Programme and Vehicle Project Management teams - and I’m loving every minute of it.
Outside of work I’m a registered Chartered Engineer, and mentor to undergraduates and postgraduates working towards their own Chartered status. As well as overseeing their work, I’m always there for them as an impartial point of contact and to offer friendly advice. In my experience, this is an invaluable relationship for graduates to be able to have – particularly for young female engineers who may feel a bit overwhelmed in a male dominated environment.
I have to say that Jaguar Land Rover have always been very supportive of my progress, and so I always welcome the opportunity to be able pass this support and experience on to my fellow female engineers at Women in Engineering events. And for those who are just starting out, I regularly hold sessions for graduates - providing tips on job hunting and CV writing, and helping them to build their confidence by giving them the opportunity to practice essential business behaviours.
It’s great to be able to help younger people pursue a career in something they’re interested in. My two sons are still young, but they’re already showing enthusiasm for maths and science – particularly my 8-year old. He’s just like I was at that age. So, you never know, he could become an engineer too – maybe even with Jaguar Land Rover. It’s certainly something I’d encourage.
I’ve always loved working here, and know I’ll continue to do so – I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else! Not only did Jaguar Land Rover fund my MBA course in Engineering Management, but I’ve worked on a fantastic range of projects so far. It’s all made a huge difference to my career.
Some of the projects I’ve worked on include the development of the Limited Edition Discovery and Defender models that featured in the G4 event, and the Limited Edition XK portfolio. More recently I’ve been working on the Jaguar F-Type project. As part of this I was able to attend market research events to help me understand customer needs and get their thoughts on products. It was a great opportunity for me to engage with our customers in person. And nothing makes me more proud than seeing one of my products out on the road!
So what’s next for me? Well, at the moment I’m working on a number of high profile projects. But I can’t tell you about those, as they’re super secret!