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Mike is an Enterprise Adviser at Jacobs. Here he reflects on how much he enjoys this role, and how helping young people prepare for the world of work has impacted not only him personally, but also companywide at Jacobs.   Mike Bowen Jacobs engineering

My current role in Jacobs is within our Highways team in our Transportation business, where I focus on our Local Government market. As the North East Lead for Local Authority growth, I develop relationships with existing and potential new clients within the North East England region.  I also manage several Local Authority frameworks we deliver in the North of England. 

I play an active role within Jacobs Employee Networks, having recently spent 18 months as one of three Global Chairs for Jacobs’ Careers Network which focuses on aiding career development and career opportunities for our 52,000 global employees across our business. 

Throughout my career, STEM and STEAM engagement has always been a significant passion of mine.  I have been fortunate enough to have been given an opportunity from someone, which kick started my career into the industry. Since then, I’ve always wanted to ensure that I could provide that opportunity and understanding of the opportunities that exist onto others.

The Enterpriser Adviser role enabled me to take my involvement in STEM and STEAM engagement one step further. It also fits perfectly with Jacobs’ value to live inclusion, and invest in our people and culture. The opportunity to work directly and enhance engagement between a school, or college and a business fitted perfectly with our company ethos. 

The relationship I have with Carmel College in Darlington has been rewarding, and has enabled me to develop skills that help me in my role at Jacobs.  Working with the students year on year, I’ve seen them develop their skills and improve and mature as individuals. That makes me extremely proud, particularly now that students like Katie and Rebecca from the College, who showed extraordinary potential during their work experience with us, are now part of our Jacobs team. Giving up some of my own time to get involved with this activity is all worthwhile.  Working closely with the Carmel College teaching staff has also helped me to understand some of the challenges faced in education, and how these relate to similar experiences in business.  It’s great to know that Jacobs is having a positive impact in the region where we operate.

Every time I engage with the students at Carmel College, I learn something new. The ideas that they have tabled over the years in ‘The Big Project’ are nothing short of amazing.  It’s been so impressive to hear students stand up and confidently present on ideas that propose patches to monitor and report the mental health of its wearer or using the waste from school dinners to create water that can be transferred back into the schools water system. Taking ‘The Big Big Project’ out on a wider scale across the whole of the Tees Valley is enabling more and more students to engage in these events, I genuinely think that the ideas that students are presenting are in many cases genius. The challenge now for Jacobs is to help them take some of their ideas forward.

As we continue to grow our global business, these encounters with students continue to grow in importance.  We are always learning and often find that we operate in many different ways in terms of the way that we enable students to interact with our business. The challenge is to understand what best practice looks like and ensure that the encounters that these young people have with us are meaningful. We need to give them experiences that showcase the best of what a global business can offer them. 

Continuing to attract top talent from education into our business is paramount to our future success. This also ensures we continue to bring diversity of thought into our offering, which is fundamental to us being an employer of choice and delivering on our purpose.

Join the Enterprise Adviser Network today.

www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/employers-volunteers

Watch Rebecca and Katie's story here.