Engineering Your Future: Graduate Programs

Caterpillar’s student rotational programs provide the opportunity to test your skillset and ambitions against real world work experiences to help you decide which path you’d like to pursue.  Four current engineering graduates share their experience within the UK graduate scheme.


Eleanor Smith, Peterborough

Rotation experience included the opportunity to monitor engine components as part of the quality team, and design wiring harness brackets for the 1200 series. 

Best Learning Moment: “I came up with a plan to run tests on new temperature sensors, which went through three different people for approvals. The sensors were in the oven for an hour and when I went back to check on them, I found that while the sensors were able to go up to that temperature, the casings were not. They melted in the oven. Everyone found it quite funny because they all signed off on it. They told me not to worry about it and learn from the experience. In fact, they’ve kept some of the sensors are in one of the display cabinets in the office as a joke.”

Biggest Takeaway: “As a student, you don’t feel like you are going to be doing proper work, but then you realize that you are doing actual work for the company. I realized during my first rotation that I have the power to stop the production line and make decisions on whether a part was going to go to production to be used on future engines.” 

Eleanor Smith
Eleanor Smith

Ahmed Kizito, Desford

During his rotation, Ahmed assisted in the design process for new product launches, and managed day-to-day engineering issues on the production line.

Best Learning Moment: “I made a design once for a build stand and got the measurements wrong. I was extremely hard on myself, but my team was very reassuring and reminded me that we are all in this together. That helped me regain my confidence.” 

Biggest Takeaway: “There were times when I wasn’t sure how useful I was being to those I was supporting. My manger helped me feel more confident by sharing her experiences from graduate program. Managers can be seen as perfect, but she humanized herself by sharing her learning moments.”

Ahmed Kizito
Ahmed Kizito

Corie Gee, Peterborough

Designed parts for aftertreatment, analyzed data and built data dashboards used broadly to check the performance of machines in the field. In his rotations he also monitored test beds to ensure engine controls function as expected.

Best Learning Moment: “When I started doing data analysis, I didn’t know much of the data analysis language. I wrote a program that was inefficient- it took three and a half days to plot histograms. Once I joined the data analysis team, one of my coworkers built the same program in 15 minutes and showed me how he did it. The program I had written eventually came back to me and I was able to fix it using the guidance that my coworker provided.”

Biggest Takeaway: “Data analysis is what I want to do as a career. I wouldn’t have known that without this graduate program.”

Corie Gee
Corie Gee

Joana Leitch, Peterborough

Just starting her first rotation, Joana is setting up and running computational fluid dynamics models on replacement components in engines as well as making changes to the geometry of components to optimise the fluid flow.

Best Learning Moment: “I’m running simulations and things keep going wrong. With the guidance of my more experienced colleagues, I have to keep coming up with different solutions for what is going wrong and how I can fix it. It’s been challenging, but not to a point where you don’t know what to do next. You try different things and move forward.”

Biggest Takeaway: “Machines are going to be around forever- we are always going to need them. The work of engineers makes these machines more efficient, which allows us to play a part in the improved bigger picture to make a positive change in the world.”  

Joana Leitch
Joana Leitch


No matter your location, Caterpillar has a student program that will set you up for success. Are you ready to build what matters? Search and apply today.