Holly Feeney

2019 Engineering Graduate

"You get given real responsibility straight away; and being placed on current real-world projects is exciting and means you’re making a difference right from the start."

Studying Physics at University opened my career options to many different areas. After completing my Masters, I decided to pursue engineering as it’s an ever-expanding industry with many divisions and some really interesting projects.

Having not had any previous “engineering” experience, the Thales Engineering Graduate Scheme seemed ideal as we move around different departments and different sites every 6 months (for the first two years), before completing two year-long placements in an area we find interesting. For me, it’s a really good opportunity to explore the different branches under engineering whilst continually developing old skills and simultaneously learning new things.

The application process comprised a CV, game-based assessment, telephone interview and assessment centre. This may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a pretty enjoyable process and allows you to showcase your skills in many different ways. Although I was a bit nervous about not coming from an engineering background, the assessors made me feel at ease and gave me space to think through problems in my own way.

I joined the Engineering Graduate Scheme in September 2019, so far completing a placement in Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) and currently based in Land and Air Systems (LAS). These placements have allowed me to take part in very cool projects such as developing a new encryption technology for IOT devices and improving Military systems on the ground.

What I enjoy about working for Thales

My first year at Thales has been fantastic, every day is different and I’m constantly learning. I was taken aback by the sheer amount of support you get as an Early Careers Member, from all levels of the business and people from all areas. Everyone genuinely wants you to be successful and do the best job that you can!

The training provided throughout the scheme is great too, from Emotional Intelligence courses to a PgDip in Engineering Competence through Cranfield University there’s lots of opportunities to grow both professionally and personally.

On the topic of opportunities, there is quite a lot presented to you throughout the course of the scheme. So far, I have been able to take on the role of Project Manager for the Big Bang Fair, speak to students all around the UK about careers in STEM and am currently Chair of the Early Careers Committee.

You get given real responsibility straight away; and being placed on current real-world projects is exciting and means you’re making a difference right from the start. In my opinion it really is a unique opportunity to start your career, and I would recommend this scheme to anyone with an interest in engineering!