Christopher Kay graduated in Product Design at DeMontfort University in 2019 and returned to the Isle of Man to work as a Product Design Engineer for Strix.
At the end of my second year at university I decided to return home to the Isle of Man for my summer holidays and apply to the Department for Enterprise’s STEP Programme; a work placement scheme for undergraduates. I was lucky enough to secure an eight-week placement with local organisation Swagelok; an incredible experience that only served to solidify my decision to choose product design engineering as a career pathway. The experience at Swagelok allowed me network with many vital on-Island industry contacts, which resulted in a year-long placement with Strix, before I returned to complete my final year of university.
After completing my studies, I knew I wanted to return to Strix, and was fortunate enough to secure a position within the organisation’s New Product Development team.
Since joining Strix, I have been provided with a multitude of opportunities. Firstly, they sponsored my final year at university, which saw my dissertation design project contracted to go to market under several international brands. This really tested my skillset from early on and provided me with an opportunity to showcase my abilities in real world applications, while further expanding the quality of my design portfolio.
Strix have also provided me with a great amount of autonomy and responsibility from day one. This includes experience in developing new products, as well as working with internationally based colleagues and suppliers in Guangzhou, China where our factory is based.
Every working day is a different one; new projects and challenges arise all the time in which we are all deeply involved in. Working in a technically creative environment such as Strix is great because we are encouraged to think both innovatively and collaboratively, brainstorming disruptive ideas and designs and creating solutions to problems on a regular basis.
Returning to the Island post-studies, wasn’t just about the career, but was also about returning home. The Island offers an unbeatable lifestyle - you are never too far away from nature, and you are rarely stuck in traffic! It also really comes to life in the summer months, which is perfect for me as I love to get outdoors, and I enjoy lots of sports – of which there are many clubs to join here.
With the average salary being considerably higher than most other sectors, and numerous opportunities for graduates, there’s no better time to consider a career in engineering and manufacturing in the Isle of Man.