What did you study at school?
I studied at Beauchamps High School where I was interested in Science and Design & Technology subjects. When it was time to choose my GCSE options, I chose Triple Science, Resistant Materials and Business Studies. I then started studying Double Maths, Physics, and Chemistry A levels at Seevic College. However, after the first year I decided to start again with a BTEC in Engineering.
During my BTEC project I decided to make an electric guitar. This has now become one of my hobbies and I’m now half way through designing my fourth guitar.
Why did you think an apprenticeship was the right path for your career development?
Apprenticeships offer the chance to learn first-hand what skills are critical in different career paths. You also get a chance to try various engineering placements so you can decide which area you most enjoy and which you can excel at. With the Leonardo apprentice scheme I was also able to continue my studies and I began my BTEC HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering as I joined the company.
What attracted you to the Leonardo apprenticeship scheme?
Leonardo products and the flexibility offered by the Apprenticeship Scheme.
What is your current position in Leonardo?
I'm a Technical Apprentice currently working in Electronics. The role involves completing various three-month placements and learning about different technical departments, such as Assembly and Test, Machine Component Centre, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, and Software Engineering.
Tell us about a typical week?
Most weeks are very busy. As well as working, I am a lead organiser of the Rampaging Chariots competition which is held at Leonardo each year. I am also studying for my degree in Electronics where I have one day of study leave each week to attend lectures.
The work within the electronics placement varies, from testing new products to designing and building circuit boards and cable assemblies. You also need to write up tasks and complete knowledge questions for your NVQ.
What do you like most about your job?
The best part of my current role is being able to contribute to the design of new products such as our thermal camera technology, such as that used on the BBC 'Planet Earth II' Series. I assisted with ensuring our Horizon camera met ONVIF specification for Video over IP (VoIP) so that the camera could can be controlled over a network, much like a CCTV camera.
I have also conducted a fairly detailed failure analysis of our Hawk cameras to establish any common issues during manufacture and developing methods of improving this process.
What has been your best moment/biggest achievement as a Leonardo apprentice so far?
Gaining sponsorship for my BEng(hons) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Greenwich University after excelling within my Electronics placement and expressing an interest in working within the Electronics department full time. I am due to complete my degree in May 2018.
I was also incredibly honoured to have been shortlisted for the 2016 Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Apprentice of the Year award
What do you hope to do next?
Once I finish my degree and apprenticeship, I will be promoted to become an Engineer. From there I would like to work towards gaining chartership, so I can be recognised as a Chartered Engineer.
Why should aspiring engineers consider an apprenticeship at Leonardo?
Aspiring engineers should consider an apprenticeship if they do not know what discipline of engineering they want to focus on. As engineering is such a broad topic, it is extremely useful that the Leonardo apprenticeship scheme allows you to experience the job roles available in different sectors so that you can establish which area you are most suited to.