Design Engineer - Power Pack (Contract), London, ON - 3 February 2016
Worked at GD on a 1 year design engineering contract. I had the opportunity to expose myself to design and development so I liked the fact that the experience catered to my interests. Given the type of employment and me being a recent grad. I was quite happy with the pay and the employees are exceptionally friendly.
Things to know/watch out for:
Understand the dynamics of the workplace especially if you are junior and you want to learn. Releasing parts and systems is the fun part and a very good way to learn. Typically the team lead assigns who is going to design what however, it is a responsibility that everybody vies for. The team leads would typically be inclined to assign such responsibilities to more experienced staff. So make sure you ask and insist on being involved.
You will have to assume responsibility if you are junior and you want to learn. If you don't assume responsibility you will end up pushing paper throughout your presence at the company.
Since its a defence industry. There is no constant demand for design and production. So design ramps up when a contract is won followed by production after which layoff season starts until another contract is won. Senior staff tend to stay back to support R&D efforts where as less experienced personnel are let go of.. Having said that, I would not rate it well for job security.
Overall, nice unique experience, plenty that you can learn from. I am glad I worked there.