In order to celebrate International Women In Engineering Day, I reached out to a number of female engineers across the UK & Ireland, asking them to share their stories, and the highly rewarding career path they had chosen.
Hear the thoughts of Eszter Kortvelyesi, Customer Project Engineer at Schneider Electric, about what it’s like to be a female in the world of engineering, what it’s like to work at Schneider Electric and how Schneider has contributed to her journey.
Siobhan Kelly-Bush: Eszter, please tell us what is it like to work at Schneider Electric?
Eszter Kortvelyesi: I work as a Project Engineer for Digital Energy focusing on Building Management and Workplace management systems. My role is very diverse, doing a wide range of tasks combining office time, customer meetings and site visits.
SKB: When and why did you decide to become an engineer?
EK: I was around 16 years old when I have decided that being an engineer could be something I would enjoy. My mother is an engineer as well, but she never pushed me towards any specific career. Although she did talk about some projects of hers, and what difference she brought with her designs. Plus I enjoyed the fact that I usually had success in subjects like maths and physics in school. As time was passing I became more and more sure that this will be my career choice.
SKB: Why Schneider Electric?
EK: I have chosen Schneider Electric because of the message and value that Schneider electric represents, which is sustainability and the fact that access to energy is a basic human right. Sustainability is one of my passions and something I am embracing day to day as well as the main message and scope of my job is to improve buildings and make them more sustainable one building at a time. During my time working here, I am also very glad that the company is a diversity and inclusion champion and personal growth and career growth are encouraged.
“I have chosen Schneider Electric because of the message and value we represent, which is sustainability and the fact that access to energy is a basic human right.”
SKB: How has Schneider Electric supported your career?
EK: I have been given multiple different opportunities and challenges as part of the graduate program and after completion as well. These opportunities are vital to gain experience in multiple areas as well as proving business acumen.
SKB: What has been your career path up to today?
EK: I have worked for Schneider electric Denmark as a student intern in research and building modelling, followed by completing my graduate program in the UK where I gained experience in sales for the data center segment, in building energy optimization and field engineering as well as marketing. I have chosen to start as a Project engineer for large and critical BMS projects to do design and project execution, after completion of the two year project, I have moved further to a new challenge of a new offer launch and management from sales to deployment for a workplace efficiency smart building offer.
SKB: How has the flexibility across Schneider enabled you to explore a range of career choices and opportunities across different areas?
EK: I was lucky to be able to change placements during my graduate program from office based, to field based engineering, to sales. This has definitely helped me to gain experience and knowledge in a much faster pace. And the flexibility of changing responsibilities hasn’t stopped we still have the flexibility to take up new projects from an open talent platform which I will want to try in the future.
SKB: What has been your most rewarding experience as an engineer?
EK: Seeing a project from start to completion is very rewarding, coupled with the fact that while showing London to my family and friends and I can point at iconic buildings and stating that I have contributed or I have managed to reduce its energy.
SKB: What has been your most challenging experience as an engineer?
EK: My most challenging experience was working on a construction site as a project engineer for two years every day. It is an extremely harsh environment, with no time for error, high pressure, etc. With that said it was an even bigger sense of accomplishment when the project has finished successfully.
SKB: What advice do you have for females interested in becoming an engineer?
EK: Researching all the possible engineering career paths is so worthwhile. What I mean here is that there are so many different types of engineering starting from design, architecture, chemical, mechanical, automotive, biomedical all the way to aerospace and much more. It is a profession which very easily becomes a passion, I would say it is creative and it is rewarding, go for it.
SKB: Who has been your greatest support, coach, mentor across Schneider Electric and why?
EK: I couldn’t name one person, as I had multiple mentors starting from my managers to all the senior engineers I have worked with and peers who we faced the challenges together. I think we can learn from everybody in a way, and Schneider Electric does have a culture for mentoring, I have never been turned back if I have needed support.
“I think we can learn from everybody in a way, and Schneider electric has a culture for mentoring, I have never been turned back if I have needed support.”
This blog post is part of a series. I invite you to read the other interviews below: