"I stayed with the company after the graduate role for the opportunities it gave me."
My career with BAE Systems began when I joined as a Manufacturing Engineer in the graduate programme nearly six years ago. Coming straight out of university, I applied for everything, including BAE Systems, which I think was because it was something a bit different. I applied for manufacturing roles, and BAE Systems came up as one of the top employers for different types of manufacturing and ships. So I took the job in Barrow, moved down straight from university, and have been here ever since.
I stayed with the company after the graduate role for the opportunities it gave me. The team I wanted to move to didn’t exist, so I got to build a team from scratch. There were just two of us at the time, and my manager worked across teams, and we worked on the two of them. Now we have built up a team that’s grown from there. I wasn’t management, but I had responsibility right from the start, so it’s been quite good to get that opportunity. I think it was an opportunity that I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.
I am very proud of the programme I am currently working on, a robot that is an adjustable jig to help built pipes. In technology, we do all the research and development and eventually bring it into the company. We are working on quite a few robotic projects to bring the latest technology you can get to submarines. We are also starting to lead with what the technology should look like for the future, we get a lot of say in what’s going to happen.
I also do a lot of STEM work and have designed a programme that submarines use now, that goes out to the children in Key Stages 1 through 4, which is another side that BAE Systems do a lot of work to support.
I work about 30% at home and 70% at work. From home, I can do a lot of business case writing, applying for funding and reading and signing off design documents. Once the finished designs get to the site as physical items, I implement them on-site. I have found that I love doing the practical side of the work, which I didn’t think I would. I thought I would be very office based, but the on-site practical side keeps your head in the game.
BAE Systems are very good at supporting women, and there are so many opportunities for women in engineering. Working at BAE Systems has allowed me to develop, and I think it’s made me a completely different person from who I was when I graduated. I am now more confident and less introverted. I would say to anyone looking for a graduate role just go for it, stand up and be you.