Lovemore Makombe, BEng Electrical and Electronics, MSc in Control, 2012
What are you doing now?
I am currently working as a Systems and Controls Engineer for Lloyd’s Register Energy Drilling.
After completing my Master’s degree I received several job offers from large companies including Rolls-Royce and GE Power Conversion. I joined GE in June 2012 as a Power Systems Commissioning Engineer which was part office-based and part field-based.
I left GE in June 2013 and joined Lloyd’s Register, where I get to travel all over the world working on different subsea oil and gas systems.
What were the main reasons you took that course?
Having trained as an electrical technician I had worked for several different companies and wanted something more challenging, with personal and career development opportunities.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
At the time I was living in Derby and working for Toyota as an electrical maintenance team member. I decided to further my education and so applied for the Electrical and Electronic Degree programmes at various universities.
I chose Derby after visiting the campus and I was impressed with the lecturers who had experience in industry. The University was also close to my family, which was an added bonus.
What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?
After having worked in the Electrical and Electronic field for a number of years, completing my Bachelors and Masters degrees at Derby was icing on the cake. It opened up so many opportunities and exciting challenges that I would not have been exposed to otherwise.
Job offers came from big companies that I have always dreamt of working for and I was faced with a task of deciding which company to join.
My time at Derby built my confidence to a much higher level and equipped me with transferable skills that can be turned to any task at hand.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
Taking on Higher Education as a mature student presented a few challenges. For example, I had family commitments besides my studies, but the Electrical and Electronics Engineering lecturers were very understanding and supportive.
Sometimes I had to miss lectures due to family commitments and the lecturers’ encouragement and support gave me the strength to continue with my studies. They were always there and available to help, challenge and spur me on. It was more of a personal touch and the attention from the lecturers which inspired me to think outside the box and made my study time more enjoyable.
How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?
Studying at Derby boosted my confidence in so many ways. After commencing my studies I applied to become a student ambassador. This required me to go into schools around Derbyshire reaching out, helping, encouraging and explaining the resources and opportunities available to assist young underprivileged young people to continue to higher education.
Through the University’s Student Employment Agency I had an opportunity to become a study advisor and assistant lecturer assisting Electrical and Electronics Engineering undergraduates during their tutorial and practical laboratory tasks. I was paid for this work.
The Career Development Centre also helped me by matching me up with a mentor from a very reputable company.
What are your future plans?
I plan to further my studies at Derby through a PhD. With the skills, academic qualifications and experience I’d like to start my own consulting company.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
I would highly recommend the University of Derby to anyone, young or old, who wishes to acquire lifetime skills and an academic qualification. This is the best place to be. It provides a multi-cultural and close-knit study environment where everyone is treated like family.
Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?
I have maintained close contact with all my lecturers. They have been the pillar of my success and are always guiding and supporting me whenever I need any professional advice.