Roland Berger & Partners
Caroline took Maths, Physics and Chemistry A Levels at school. She applied to Cambridge to read Natural Sciences. However, through the Year in Industry scheme, Caroline became attracted to Engineering and spent a year between school and university with an electronics firm called Racal. "I was involved with lots of different projects to do with manufacturing and electronics design, and found it so interesting that I changed my course at Cambridge to Engineering," she says.
At Cambridge, Caroline studied the general engineering course for two years, as all students do, before specialising in the third and fourth years when she took the Electrical and Information Sciences option. She enjoyed the fact that Cambridge offered breadth initially and then gave her the opportunity to specialise later, once she had more knowledge about the differing disciplines.
On graduating, Caroline went to work for ICI in Runcorn as she was attracted by the excellent graduate training scheme and the opportunity of working in a large international company. This placement also enabled her to carry out projects that involved real 'hands-on' engineering, which is what she wanted to do at the time. After 3 1/2 years, she qualified as a Chartered Engineer, but found her interests were changing and now lay in how businesses function.
"It was relatively simple to switch to management consultancy at this stage," she explains, "as the skills required are very similar, namely an analytical mind and an aptitude for problem solving. The skills taught in an engineering degree course are highly transferable which means that all sorts of career options are open to you."
Caroline now works in London for the strategy consultants, Roland Berger and Partners. "I am now working with top level executives of international corporations, advising them on their business strategies. It is very interesting and varied work, for example this year alone I have been working in the aerospace, engineering, service and finance industries in Europe and USA. People with an engineering degree are much in demand for this type of career. As you get older your interests can change, and it is useful to have a degree that allows you flexibility as your career develops."