Child’s Play – EDT takes a look at life of an engineer at Mattel
FERM of the month, Mamta Singhal tells us about her role working for one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers
Mamta Singhal is a Project Quality Engineer at Mattel, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. Although encouraged by her dad to take on technical subjects during her secondary education, Mamta never thought she would become an engineer. Years later she is now working for one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world, was a finalist for UK Young Women Engineer of the Year in 2007 and this year she is in the running for Toy News Woman of the Year Awards 2015.
The EDT caught up with Mamta to find out how she got into her career at Mattel and what she gets up to as a modern day Toy Maker.
EDT: What motivated you as a young girl to go into engineering?
Mamta: I never thought I would become an Engineer. My dad always encouraged me to take on technical subjects at secondary school. I soon realised I enjoyed Maths, Science and Art so looked into course at University level that would allow me to follow my interests. I found an affiliated engineering degree at Glasgow University and the Glasgow School of Art called Product Design Engineering and it seemed perfect, it was a tough course but really glad I stuck it out and got my degree.
EDT: What attracted you to your role at Mattel? What’s the best part of your job?
Mamta: Children’s items have always interested me. During my university days I developed many items that could help sick children or for general children’s brands. During my student days I gained a 6 month placement at Polaroid to assist with developing their children and teenage camera range so it was a natural step to seek out a job that allowed me to follow my passion and apply to the big toy and children’s product companies.
Mattel is a huge company that is well-established and when I saw a job advertised I jumped at the chance. I had worked for another toy company in the past so knew I liked the culture and atmosphere. The other positive aspect about Mattel is the wide range of products and brands they have and as a result I work internationally and my projects are very varied.
The best part of my job is the range of people and projects I get involved with. I have very technical issues right through to strategic and innovative work to explore and work across all levels and most disciplines.
EDT: What has motivated you most in your career as an engineer?
Mamta: I like seeing how things work and making things better whether that be more enjoyable to use, more affordable or generally just better quality. Every engineer I know creates and develops new and interesting things whether it is a building, a household product or a technical piece of electronics and that is what is very exciting - it’s the creative journey!
EDT: What is your office like? Do toy manufacturers enjoy fun environments to work in?
Mamta: The office is colourful yet functional, the meeting rooms are named after our brands and we have a lovely showroom that has many of our great products. It is a fun environment and there are all sorts of toys and general children’s products around the office that are going through different stages of development.
EDT: Do you get to try out any of the toys before they go to market?
I get asked that question a lot! I generally know of the trends and see most of the new toys well before the hit the shops and can try them out beforehand.
Mamta currently goes into local schools to talk to secondary children about careers and inspire more young people to consider careers in engineering. She also likes to give back to the people who helped her throughout her career and says that connecting with others adds another angle to her portfolio.
If you would like to learn more about working for Mattel please visit their website.
If you would like to find out more about how EDT can connect young people with employers, please visit our website.