James Hazlehurst

Why did you choose a graduate programme?
I chose a graduate programme so that I would be able to experience different areas of the business and develop an appreciation of the operation of the company as a whole. My home department is Vehicle Dynamics where I spent the first three months of my graduate scheme and since then I have been working in different departments and functions. Currently I am working in the Quality department and have completed a three month placement in Durability with future placements in Production, Project Forum and potentially Sales and Marketing to name a few.

What is a typical day like?
Typically you will be given a project to work on while on placement in a department with set goals and objectives. So a typical day mostly involves working on your current project including attending meetings, discussing progress with your supervisor and speaking to relevant people to help you with the project. However  whilst working in Vehicle Dynamics and on placement in Durability I assisted in product testing at the Idiada proving ground in Barcelona and the Ehra proving ground in Wolfsburg. At Idiada I was involved in collecting data on the handling responses of the new Continental GT whilst at Ehra I was involved in functional testing of our cars. There the typical day includes an early start and more often than not a late finish to complete all the tests but it’s by far the most enjoyable part of my job.

Are you studying for any qualifications?
One day a week after work I attend a 1 hour German lesson to develop my language skills. Being part of the Volkswagen Group means that communication with colleagues in Germany is a common occurrence. Being able to speak the language is also important for the International Placement undertaken as part of the graduate scheme. Currently I am looking to arrange my placement for August 2012, possibly at Audi.

What's good about working at Bentley?
The prestige and quality of the Bentley product obviously makes working here very enjoyable and rewarding. Being part of the Volkswagen Group also means that the company has a lot of support as well as being able to provide fantastic development opportunities for individuals. However, being part of VW also brings with it the challenge to constantly improve the performance and quality of the product which is always motivating the company as a whole as well as everyone who works here.

Any tips or advice you would give to someone applying for a graduate vacancy?
Competition for graduate positions is becoming increasingly fierce. To succeed in obtaining a place on a graduate scheme you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Take an active part in extra-curricular activities, use any opportunity to broaden your knowledge and experience and show a keen interest in the activities of the company.