Meet Phoenix Mecano Intern Grace Lawson. The seventeen-year-old student from Oxford, Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom, will soon begin her last year of high school. Before she hits the books and shuffles between classes, she’s absorbing how engineering and business merge at the company.
“It’s interesting to see the work people put in to ensure the product outcome is perfect at Phoenix Mecano,” Grace shared. With a penchant for chemistry, math, and physics, the opportunity to learn on the job excites her. “Observing people working together to achieve the same outcome has been an insightful experience. It makes me look forward to my career and confirms that a STEM career is exactly what I want.”
University selections are just around the corner for Grace. She has always enjoyed STEM fields at school and chemical engineering, perhaps with an emphasis in the pharmaceutical industry, is where her sights are set. “While being at the company, I have been given pieces of advice I can take with me through my studies and my career. I am very thankful for all the opportunities and experiences Phoenix Mecano has given me, and I know it will be helpful.”
There are several takeaways from this experience Grace is grateful for. The mentorship she received from Rebekah Collogan and Liz Rasking inspires her to look into what being a woman in the field will be like. “They have given me great advice to become a well-rounded engineer. It’s been helpful getting tips from people with experience. I appreciate the time they’ve taken to answer any questions and share what it’s like to have a career in engineering.”
Grace is a student at an all-girls STEM school. She and her peers know how lucky they are to be students immersed in an area of study they are passionate about. “Whether setting up a science-based club––such as robotics club––or listening to speakers invited to talk with us, we are fortunate to be encouraged to stay engaged and curious students.” Yet, Grace isn’t just a sponge absorbing knowledge. She’s making things happen for other students too. “This year, I am helping organize an engineering conference for students at every state school in England to attend. I have invited four speakers, all from different backgrounds in engineering.”
Busy as she is with studies, Grace makes time for other pursuits in life. “I am on school football (soccer) and netball teams.” Netball is similar to basketball, but the rules, equipment, and the number of players on the court are slightly different. “I also ride horses, enjoy music, play the flute, love singing, and participate in band,” she adds.
Ready to take on whatever the future holds, Grace envisions taking some time to work in the industry after earning her undergraduate. This will help her gain an edge and even more experience before getting a master’s degree. Learning on the job at Phoenix Mecano was a lovely introduction to what that may look like in just a few short years. That includes a sneak peek into the work it takes to make enclosures. “I was surprised at how much work goes on before product is ready to be manufactured––from drawings to the time studies and the trials that take place.” Grace now has the inside scoop on how Phoenix Mecano gets things done.