Sarah Malkin - Engineering Support Officer at Babcock International Group, Defence & Security Division
When I left school, I set myself up as a self-employed relief equestrian & farm worker and it was during this work that I discovered my passion for engineering. As I gathered a more established customer base I started to move away from the dairy aspects of the farming and moved more into the agricultural side which got me thinking about the machinery I frequently worked with, how they operated and how the technology was advancing.
The realisation hit me that I shouldn’t always listen to my peers who informed me that “engineering wasn’t a career for women” and so I finally decided to apply for an advanced level mechanical craft apprenticeship in 2013.
I started my journey at level 2, progressing my skills sets and qualifications to the present day where I am currently studying at HND level with plans in place to complete a one year top up to degree level in the near future. I’ve never looked back and my apprenticeship culminated in me receiving the award for the MOD apprentice of the Year 2016. My current role sees me working as an Engineering Support Officer for Babcock International Group.
Having pursued my career through an apprenticeship, I’m highly passionate and motivated to improve the opportunities available to future generations and due to my personal experience of engineering as a career, I now want to convey the challenges, exciting opportunities and rewards the world of engineering has to offer to other women. Women should be made aware of how valuable their contribution to the industry could be, so they don’t hold off pursuing what could potentially be their dream career, as I initially did.
During my apprenticeship I attended various events representing Babcock to promote women in engineering, whilst also being a Higher Education representative at the City of Wolverhampton College, supporting students, and informing potential students about careers in engineering. By partaking in these activities I realised many women believe engineering is a grubby and harsh world to work in, so they’d never considered it as an option.
As a member of the WISE Young Women’s Board I wish to continue changing this preconception, while promoting apprenticeships as an alternative pathway into engineering and other STEM subjects.