my journey from site to the commercial world

from site to the commercial world

What’s it like to go from working onsite to the commercial world? Miguel Melo gives us an insight into his journey and how Hilti was there along the way to support his career transition. Miguel started as an Engineer and has made his way to becoming a Project Specialist based in London – let’s find out how and why.

Interview with Miguel Melo

Miguel Melo

1. Why did you pursue Engineering as a career?

As a student, Science and Maths always came easily to me and what field combines the two? Engineering. For example, it uses models provided by science together with the mathematical innovative thinking to solve problems and create new designs. During my studies, I was faced with difficult problems and different scenarios that allowed to develop versatile skills and the confidence to deal with all kinds of situations.

2. What are the rewards of being an Engineer?

One of the best things about being an Engineer is that the projects you work on benefit societies around the globe. Before joining Hilti, I worked as a Project Manager, responsible for the construction of wind farms and highways in Poland, Portugal and Peru - it delights me to know that I contributed towards building a sustainable and connected world.  

3. Why were you looking for a change in career?

Firstly, I’ve never had the opportunity to work in a multinational company with the prestige that Hilti has and secondly, as I mentioned previously, engineering has made me versatile and adaptable to many situations. As Hilti offers the possibility to work in several areas that I consider essential for my career progression, it felt like the right time to transition.

Comparing Hilti with my previous experiences of work, Hilti values the balance between my private life and my obligations towards the organisation. I have always felt that my manager is approachable if I needed to discuss anything, no matter the topic; I feel like a valued employee and not just a number.

4. What does an average day as a Project Specialist at Hilti look like?

A Project Specialist is a very interesting role, you’re involved in large scale projects that are crucial for the development of a city – in this case, for me it’s London. I’m responsible for supporting my clients not only with products but with structural solutions, answering any questions they might have. To create happy and engaged clients, a Project Specialist needs to ensure that all the products are delivered on time and in line with any specific guidelines from the client.

5. How does your engineering and site experience help you in the projects role at Hilti e.g. providing solutions/application support?

My previous experiences are crucial to understanding the different stages of a project and addressing a variety of problems regarding the Engineering and Logistics onsite. I feel that my knowledge and insight of the usual problems that can occur on site from my previous roles, benefits the relationships I have with clients and  contractors.

6. How did you find the selection process at Hilti?

The interviews were centred around my knowledge and understanding about the business, previous work experience and how I can apply this experience to that particular role. The interview felt very welcoming and I enjoyed getting to know the interviewers – my future managers. From the beginning, Hilti does an amazing job to engage all the candidates and support them through the process.

1. How has Hilti supported your career transition?

Hilti developed a programme called the Basic Training Scheme to help the new starters to understand  Hilti’s values, culture and increase their performance in their new roles. Straight away I had the privilege to become part of team with very experienced colleagues who are mentoring me and supporting a smooth transition.

2. What have been your key learnings since Joining Hilti?

The importance of creating a one-to-one relationship with the customer to truly understand who they are and what they need. Also, the significance of having a motivated team. Essentially, having people working together in the same space, focusing on one single project at the time.

Hilti produce its products with passion and innovation where the small details make the difference and make people happy. That passion inspired me to reach new levels of perfectionism.   

3. If you were to speak to a previous Engineering colleague, how would you position your change in career?

After 12 years working as a Site Agent/ Project Manager, it was time to move towards my priorities in life. Hilti has shown commitment to supporting the mental health and happiness of their workers. When you feel part of a multinational family, that you are giving your all and recognised for it, it’s the best feeling.

Currently I have the perspective of a career in both vertical and horizontal lines. Along the horizontal line; within Hilti you can be working in different departments in the same workplace or in another country with the same business culture. I can work as a Project Specialist or learn a new skill in another department, helping me to develop myself. Up the vertical line; Hilti have developed a programme to promote internal workers to the management team, according to their performance. From the start, you can see your path inside of the company – giving you the opportunity to take charge of your own destiny!

4Looking ahead, what are you looking forward to in 2019?

In 2019 I want to consolidate my knowledge and progress as an Engineer and discover the secrets of the commercial area. Hilti is giving me the opportunity to work with amazing people on fantastic projects and I have no doubt that during 2019 I will have gone through significant personal development.