Find out how Michelle went onto persue a career in the engineereing field and how the Year in Industry programme supported her in securing a placement at Rolls-Royce.
DECIDING ON A STEM CAREER
Despite always being an academically ‘well-rounded’ student during secondary school, I particularly enjoyed STEM-related lessons. However, it wasn’t until I had my first encounter with EDT through their INSPIRE programme that I realised that I wanted to pursue a career in this field. I went on to select A-level subjects that would allow me to study my chosen degree - Chemical Engineering. However, I was still actively participating in various summer schools so that I could get a feel of the university experience. On return, my teachers would encourage me to share these opportunities with my younger peers, allowing me to host talks that were targeted to females who also had an interest in STEM and wanted to find out more.
MY DECISION TO TAKE A YEAR LONG PLACEMENT VIA EDT/YEAR IN INDUSTRY
After my first year of university, I was determined to not only secure myself a placement, but to secure it in a top engineering firm. I had previous work experience in both engineering and finance therefore knew that I wanted a technically challenging role. While in the middle of applying for various roles, I remembered that EDT also offered a scheme designed for students that were searching for placements. EDT not only provided me with personally tailored CV advice but also allowed me to apply for various roles with various companies. As opposed to the traditional method of single and numerous applications, their YINI scheme made the process very quick and straight-forward. This was so crucial for me as I was juggling my 2nd year exams in addition to extra commitments. It was through this that I secured a Manufacturing Engineer Internship with Rolls-Royce.
Even though my degree specialism is in chemical engineering, I had been given the opportunity to not only explore a different field but also expand my own horizons as an engineer. The department in which I am currently situated, oversees the testing of production, development and experimental engines in addition to providing support in all aspects surrounding the test process. My role is within the Special-to-Project Test Equipment (SPTE) Team in which I am the project lead for the Trent XWB engine.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
One of the main reasons why I chose to apply to Rolls-Royce was their emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion. Being an Afro-Caribbean female in a male-dominated industry, it was important to me that my employer not only recognise but actively supports equality in the workplace. Despite my work commitments, I’ve co-founded a society that supports Black & Minority Ethnic Females who are progressing through their career whether it be university or as a young professional.
I have had an immense amount of support not only through my employer but also EDT in terms of organising and facilitating outreach events at various universities around the UK. We hope to provide a platform that helps create a more inclusive and productive workforce around the country.