Making a good impression key to Stainless success

Leaving a positive impression and learning new skills are important to Laser Machine Operator Matt Rowe.

The former Hillcrest High School student is making his mark at award-winning Hamilton engineering business Stainless Design, as he starts his career journey.

The FutureForce® Team asked Matt to spill the tea on what he loves about his job… check out what he has to say below!

“The people here are very approachable… I’ve never been afraid to talk to our boss, which I think is a really good thing about working here. Also, when I’m learning the process of a machine, I find it rewarding to see myself not having to ask for help anymore. Every four months we get a company bonus which is also pretty nice!”

Matt Rowe

Laser Machine Operator

Top Career Tip

“There’s nothing wrong with working a job that pays the bills while you still figure it out.”

A Chat with Matt about his role

Matt Rowe

Former Hillcrest High School student

What is a Laser Operator?

A Laser Operator runs the machine and and equipment used for laser cutting of metal or plastic in an engineering business. They set up and adjust the machine to meet specifications, run checks and manage maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

What do you do in your role?

I run one of the three laser machines and now I’ve trained a few people on the one I know how to run. Occasionally I will drive the forklift but for the most part I’m the operator of the machine. We cut aluminium, stainless, steel and mild steel.

What got you interested in this career path?

I was doing similiar machine operating work at my old job, so I was already sort of on this career path before I got here. I knew back in school I wanted to do practical work and I didn’t want to sit behind a desk.

What do you love about your role?

The people are cool to work with. I got my forklift license as well as a crane license. I have learnt a lot of useful skills and feel like I am better equipped than before.

What sort of person do you need to be for this work?
  • You have to be fine with waking up early (5am in the morning).
  • You’ve got to be physically fit to be on your feet all day.
  • Be able to just crack on and do the work
  • You’ve got to have a good work ethic and positive attitude
  • Showing initiative is important
  • And you can’t just sit on your phone!
What do you like most working at Stainless Design?

The management are friendly and especially from my personal experience with our boss Raj, I find him very understanding that sometimes life happens. If you can’t come in because somethings happened I’ve never felt like I’m in trouble or afraid to tell him about it. He’s very approachable and easy to talk to about that type of thing, to which I really think is a good thing about working here.

What have you learnt on the job?

Everything about how to run a laser machine. Before I started I didn’t know anything about a laser machine and it was really confusing. It took me a while to be confident to run it by myself. Once I could run it by myself I found little shortcuts to do things to make it easier for myself and also learnt how to troubleshoot the machine and fix it. Every week we do maintenance on the machines to keep them clean and running smoothly.

Where would you like to go with your career?

Maybe into something in electrical, I used to study Electrical Engineering at Wintec but it was right when COVID was happening. I had just finished school and I was needing money so I started a regular job. I eventually do want to go into a career rather than a normal job. I might move to England next year so I don’t know what opportunities they will have, but I’m sure I could do laser cutting over there.

I don’t really want to specialise in a career and then decide to move across the world and realise there are no job opportunties… I’d sort of have to choose. I guess I want to figure out where I want to be before what I want to do.

About Stainless Design…

Stainless Design are market leaders in delivering exceptional laser cutting and precision CNC folding services in conjunction with exceptional fabrication and machining solutions using all grades of mild steel, aluminium and stainless steel to produce high quality components.

Find out more

Tips & Advice

What do you wish you knew when you left school?

When I was at school I felt like I put too much emphasis on passing a test. You’re still able to get a job even if you failed science. There’s still plenty of options if you struggle at school.

What does someone need to know when starting out at work?

It’s always good to leave positive impressions when you work. Even if you leave you can be welcomed back into a workplace or you have a positive reference when you’re looking for a new job which is really important.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

I guess when I moved jobs I had to go back into the learning stages. I struggled with having that mental barrier of having to not get frustrated at myself for mucking things up or try not to feel dumb. But I had to remind myself that it will take time to learn and trust that I will get better over time.

What is your advice for keeping balance/managing stress?

The fact we finish at 2:15pm, I feel like I still have half the day to do what I enjoy. So it’s not like work, sleep, repeat. I usually have football trainings in the evenings, games in the weekends. Sometimes I go to the gym with my mates, spend time with my partner and family. So it’s good just having that extra time, not just in the weekends.

Download a Snapshot of Matt’s Career Profile