Sharp Devices Europe’s success in The 5% Club


Sharp Devices Europe (SDE) is a European subsidiary of the international Sharp Corporation of Japan. SDE maintains its renowned design centre in Oxford, UK. This is where three students completing their Year in Industry were given the opportunity by SDE to gain hands-on experience participating in exciting design and engineering projects over the last year. By taking on the Year in Industry students, Sharp was able to meet the criterion for membership in The 5% Club.

The students currently at SDE will be leaving in the summer. However, replacements for all three have already been recruited. SDE is looking forward to welcoming the new students soon. They will be supported by the outgoing students, who will share their knowledge and hand over their duties to the new recruits.

So far, the efforts that qualified Sharp for The 5% Club have been a complete success. “It is amazing to see how quickly these young professionals take on responsibility and show commitment. You can watch them growing fast, which really makes everyone proud here at  SDE”, said SDE HR specialist Kasumi Büttner.

Despite the fact that most of the students did not have much experience in the working world, they were entrusted with tasks on important development projects during their time at SDE. That was well-received, since all of them were attracted to the program by the types of projects and technologies SDE works with. Over the last year, they have built demo devices, collected data from an analogue camera, and developed more efficient finite element method techniques, to name a few of their assignments.

The takeaways for participating students Isabel Parsons, Sean Tann, and Colin-Benedikt Hay included a number of valuable insights. They are now in a better position to decide what path to take in the future. For Isabel, the desire to continue pursuing a career in engineering has been confirmed. She can now make a more informed decision on which engineering specialization to concentrate on in her studies. Sean has gained a much deeper understanding of how businesses operate and developed a 48V driver for use in LEDs. All of the students remarked that the real-world work experience benefitted them greatly.

“The sense that you have contributed to the development of a large project is very gratifying. Otherwise putting forward ideas and discussing development of the product with the design engineers was what I enjoyed the most because it is in vein with what I want to do in future”, explained Sharp Year in Industry student Colin-Benedikt Hay.

To be a member of The 5% Club, companies must work toward having 5% of their UK work force in apprenticeships and/or graduate development schemes. Sharp Devices Europe is proud to support the next generation of innovators and engineers in the UK and looks forward to its ongoing participation in The 5% Club.

For more information about Sharp Devices Europe, visit


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