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Howard Smith

Graduate Programme

"A typical week involves working as part of a team to analyse components using various engineering techniques."

Why did you think a graduate scheme was the right path for your career development?

A graduate scheme appealed to me because of the opportunities to develop both my technical abilities and interpersonal skills simultaneously. This early development will enable me to work towards my aim of becoming a chartered engineer and hopefully lead onto an exciting and successful career.

Why did you choose to join Leonardo?

I have always had an interest in aircraft, displaying particular interest in their design and the development. Leonardo Helicopters appealed to my aspiration to work for a leader in aerospace alongside providing the opportunity to work on and around such a varied collection of helicopters.

What is your current position in the Company?   

I am currently coming to the end of a 6 month placement in Rotor Systems Design and Development. Within this placement I have been primarily responsible for the component analysis of an assembly which has been recently redesigned to improve the maintenance characteristics for our customers.

Tell us about your typical week?

A typical week involves working as part of a team to analyse components using various engineering techniques. I am also involved with several personal development opportunities which allow me to work with various colleagues to achieve successful projects. In addition to this, there are plenty of ongoing flight activities in Yeovil so it is a bonus to have an office with a good view of the airfield.

What do you like most about your job?

It is certainly a benefit to be involved in real projects that provide the opportunity to develop my technical knowledge. These projects all have a tangible result and so deliver a real sense of accomplishment once you are able to observe their outcome. I also enjoy working with teams of people to learn from a wealth of experience to better my own understanding and knowledge.

What has been your best moment/biggest achievement so far?

My most notable moment so far involved working as part of a large team to ensure the first Norwegian AW101 Search and Rescue helicopter achieved its first flight to schedule. This was a crucial milestone for the programme and it was great to see colleagues from all areas of the business contribute towards the successful achievement of this objective.

What do you hope to do next? 

I hope to continue to experience as many areas of the business as possible during my time on the graduate development programme. This will enable me to continue working towards my professional development. Beyond this, I plan to gain specialist knowledge of the helicopters to enable a successful career within the Flight Test department here in Yeovil.

Why should someone consider a graduate scheme as a career option?

The graduate scheme has been an excellent way of exposing as many opportunities as possible. These opportunities have enabled technical and personal development that would not have been available to me without undertaking a position on the graduate development programme.

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