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Life as an EDT Mentor

Here at EDT, we have a number of Voluntary Mentors that help our students during their Industrial Cadets journeys so they feel supported when completing their Projects.

A Mentor is essential for a great Project outcome. Mentors have the experience and industrial knowledge to take the project outside the classroom and into the world of work.

Our Mentors act as a source of friendly guidance and as a positive role model. With help from the school teacher, we ask Mentors to offer support and advice throughout a student’s Project.

We asked one of our Mentors, Poppy Tilt, to share how she has found being an EDT Mentor so far and what inspired her to take on this rewarding role.

Poppy Tilt, Water and Natural Environment Engineer at Jacobs

What did you study at university and what do you do apart from being an EDT Mentor?

I studied Civil Engineering (with a placement year) for 5 years at Surrey university and graduated in 2017. I have been working in the engineering industry since 2013, across various placements and then full time as a graduate, as a Civil (specifically flooding / water) engineer and more recently as a Project Manager on flooding and major civils projects.

What first made you want to become an EDT Mentor and what skills have you developed whilst taking part?

When I was at school I didn’t really know what “Engineering” was. There weren’t any GCSE or A Level subjects available to me that would have directly lead me to engineering. I also didn’t have many female role models in engineering. I got involved in STEM during University partly to help inspire girls to get into the industry but also to generally inspire students. I was introduced to the EDT Mentoring Scheme when I joined Jacobs in 2022. I have developed further teaching skills and learnt how to simplify tasks or instructions for the audience I am delivering to.

Please share your experience at EDT including programmes you took part in or volunteered for.

EDT Industrial Cadets Gold Project - Great onboarding before meeting with the students to prepare the mentors. There was also a great awards ceremony bringing all the students together and teaching them more about what EDT / the industry can offer.

In 2011 I did an Insight into University Course (previously known as Headstart) at Salford University for General Engineering. I had a great experience and it confirmed my choice to do engineering at university. I would encourage any student thinking about engineering to do the similar courses.

What have you enjoyed the most about being an EDT Mentor?

I've enjoyed interacting with the students and seeing them learn and grow. Their interest in the Project makes it worthwhile for mentors.

What piece of advice would you give to people who are thinking of mentoring?

Definitely get into mentoring! A few hours of volunteering a week means you can inspire many students. I wish I had more STEM / EDT mentors when I was growing up!

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