Rolls-Royce PLC, Analytical Laboratories Operations Manager
2017, 2018 – Present
How I came to STEM
It was in the middle of year 10 that I realised I genuinely loved engineering. I enjoyed learning about the different machining processes such as turning and milling and I was able to apply some of these techniques to manufacture my coursework. I remember engineering was one of the subjects I always looked forward to because it was fun, practical and contained maths and physics in a way that actually made sense to me. Through my passion and hard work in engineering, I won Outstanding BTEC Engineering Student in 2013.
If someone told me ten years ago I would be working for Rolls Royce, I would have asked them, why would I want to work in a dirty garage fixing expensive cars?
In year 11, my engineering teacher advertised the amazing opportunities available in Rolls Royce including apprenticeships, which were rarely encouraged in my school.
Initially, an apprenticeship was not seen as an option; my older sister went to university, so it was my parents’ view that I ought to follow the ‘traditional route’ to higher education. However, after further research into future prospects of the apprenticeship scheme, we realised it was the best option because it enabled me to complete a degree whilst gaining industrial work experience.
I knew that in order to become a chartered engineer I needed to have at least four years of work experience and undertaking an apprenticeship allows me to build some of that experience.
Furthermore, in terms of direct experience, it would put me ahead of my peers at university and eliminate the need for a student loan. Being an apprentice provided me with the flexibility to: move around the different departments, undertake various technical and practical projects within Rolls Royce and develop a professional network whilst improving my confidence.
Why I love what I do
Earlier this year I moved jobs within Rolls Royce and am now working as a Repair Capability Manufacturing Engineer in Rolls-Royce Engine Overhaul Services, based in Derby. This role consists of developing and implementing methods that can be used to repair various components from a jet engine. The main thing I enjoy is the fact that I can go into work and see various jet engines being stripped and assembled ready to dispatch to the customer; I think about where these jets end up, and it is just mind-blowing!
What excites me about my job is being able to identify a problem or an improvement idea and having the support from the team and stakeholders to resolve it in a timely manner.
I’m able to review repair instructions on my laptop and if I don’t understand anything, I can go right down to the shop floor and review the physical component to clarify any questions I may have with the fitters and inspectors on the shop floor.
The workplace is filled with so many diverse thinkers. I love being able to learn methods of how to approach a situation in a different way. As most people who know me will know, I enjoy the fact that the team I am in feels like a small family because we always have each other’s best interests in mind and help wherever possible. Being an engineer in such an environment certainly does help you excel because your learning curve increases exponentially, especially as you continue dealing with people from other functions within the company.
What I’m proud of, & what I’m hoping to achieve through the WYPB
I am proud to contribute the WISE YPB by informing and advising the WISE campaign about how to strategically tackle and break down barriers of apprenticeship stereotypes.
This has involved how to change attitudes of parents and teachers with regards to pushing STEM, because they have a strong influence on the upcoming generations.
Having completed a Higher Apprenticeship two years ago, and aiming to study for a Masters in the next coming year, I’m able to offer fresh ideas of how we can influence both academic and practical students and how we can engage more schools.
Furthermore, being a Rolls Royce & Nottinghamshire STEM ambassador, promoting diversity and inclusion in Rolls Royce and an active WISE member I am able to share my experiences and confidently deliver engaging presentations.
I am looking forward to continuing to lead the WISE YPB project team to successfully complete the project set to us by WISE and Harper Collins on producing resources for their Tara Binns Books. This has been an amazing WYPB project aimed at primary-age girls to encourage them into STEM careers by providing narratives and role models that show that STEM is for girls!
This has been an exciting experience for me over the past few months and has enabled me to accumulate so many skills that will assist me in becoming a Manufacturing Engineering Manager.
I love that being a part of the board develops me both personally and professionally and provides me with fresh challenges.