The Interns: Part 1 “The Start of a Beautiful Internship”

Innovative Technology (ITL) is delighted to have three new ‘Year in Industry’ (YinI) university students on board this year, whilst they undertake a placement year as part of their respective courses. The three students, Phil Forster, Ashwin Varughese and Josh Whibberley will be recording their experiences at the company in this blog and we will be catching up with them throughout the year. All three join us from the University of Liverpool, however, they had never met before their first day at ITL! This first post will serve as an introduction to the new YinI recruits.


Phil Forster

As my year in industry was approaching, I decided to look for companies offering a placement year in the Manchester area and I came across ITL’s website. I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Liverpool and I’m hoping that my time at ITL will provide me with some insight into how engineering theory is practically applied in the real world. I think that university is a great platform to learn about the foundations of a subject but to really understand something in detail, you need to work in that industry. Furthermore, this is my first experience in a real office environment and I’m just hoping to learn how to get along with Electrical and Software Engineers!

It’s not often you get the chance to follow a product’s life cycle from start to finish and it’s encouraging that I may be able to see something that I’ve helped design go through the internal testing stages and possibly even onto field trials. Outside of work, I’ve been making use of ITL’s very own gym located within Innovative Business Park. It’s hard to come up with excuses for missing a workout now since the gym is located five steps from my desk!

In addition to starting a new job, I had the added stress of finding somewhere to live in Manchester since I am originally from Barrow-In-Furness in Cumbria. I braced myself for a gruelling, months-long search for an over-priced flat in the middle of nowhere. To my surprise, the whole process was actually easier than I imagined and I ended up moving into a flat in the centre of Manchester.

It’s been a busy first few months at ITL but I’ve enjoyed every second so far and I’m hoping the fast pace continues during my time here.



Phil Forster, Industrial Placement – Mechanical


Ashwin Varughese

Like Phil, I’ve also been taken on in the Engineering department here at ITL, however, I’ll be working in Electrical Engineering since I’ve been studying Electronic Engineering & Computer Science at University. I’m hoping my time here will improve my knowledge in electronics as that’s something I’m interested in pursuing in my future career. I also expect the time spent in the office to improve my confidence and ability to work in a team.

On the first day I arrived at the office and I was pleasantly surprised by how new the building was. When you first start at a new job, the little things can really affect how you feel about the company in general. It may seem silly but drinking a coffee from a nice, new coffee machine in a nice new canteen really does brighten your day.

Being from Liverpool originally, I decided to relocate to closer to the ITL office so I didn’t end up facing a two hour commute each morning. The perfect way to start the day! I found a place in Oldham, which means I can get home while there’s still daylight!



Ashwin Varughese, Industrial Placement – Electronics


Josh Whibberley

I’m currently studying Computer Science at the University of Liverpool and so for my year out I was looking for something in that particular field. I came across a job listing at ITL for a Software Industrial Placement which suited me perfectly. Although the three of us are at uni in Liverpool, we didn’t know each other at all before we started working at ITL, so it was a nice surprise when we met each other on our first day. In terms of what the placement entails, I’m mainly involved in the writing of code in order to communicate with validators. The opportunity to write code in a working office was a real incentive to do a year in industry since that sort of atmosphere cannot be replicated in a university computer lab. I’ve really enjoyed having this new challenge and I’ve already learnt a new programming language during my short time here, so I can’t wait for what’s to come.

I’m no stranger to long work journeys, having commuted from my hometown of Chester to university in Liverpool. The thought of nearly doubling the length of that journey to get to Oldham in the morning made me question my original decision to stay at home. I found a flat in Chadderton and at first it was a bit daunting living by myself in a new town but I’m viewing this as an opportunity to become a bit more independent and accepting of new challenges.



Josh Whibberley, Industrial Placement – Software