Marcus Nelson

Technical Apprentice

Marcus Nelson

What did you study at school?

After finishing my GCSEs, I studied, Maths, IT, Business and PE at Luton Sixth Form.


Why did you think an apprenticeship was the right path for your career development?

I chose an apprenticeship because I didn’t think university was for me. My apprenticeship at Leonardo has enabled me to build the foundations of my career in the industry I wanted, and gain valuable experiences that a university student may not get. Additionally, to top it off, I’m earning while I’m learning. So it was a win win for me!


Why did you choose to join Leonardo?

Prior to joining Leonardo I had an interest in aircraft and electronics, so the opportunity to join the company was one I jumped at. The freedom you get to express your interest here is very good, supported by the three-month placement plan which enables apprentices to get a broad view of the business. Also the ambition and determination of the company going forward fitted my personality. The more you put into the company, the more you’ll get out of it, and the advanced technology we’re using is fascinating to work with.


What is your current position at Leonardo?

I’m currently a third year technical apprentice working in Project Planning. My responsibility is to learn the project planning role and apply it back into the business products. I progressed to this position through showing a personal interest in project planning and working hard in previous placements.


Tell us about your typical week?

This varies depending on which department I’m working in. The week starts with college, where I’m doing my Engineering HNC. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, my responsibilities to Leonardo include looking at lead times, bid management and Critical Path Analysis amongst other things. The week ends on Friday, when I’m often looking after work experience students and assisting first year apprentices with their work.


What do you like most about your job?

I like the fact I get to work with some of the world’s most advanced technology. The capabilities we have are outstanding and it’s only going to get better!


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

In recognition of how far I’d progressed on the apprenticeship programme to date, I was the first apprentice in Leonardo to be seconded to a supplier company. During those three months, I gained some great experience.


What do you hope to do next?

Finish my apprenticeship and become integrated into a specific team I choose. After that, I’ll be looking to work my way up to project management.


Why should someone consider an apprenticeship as a career option?

I would recommend an apprenticeship because university isn’t for everyone and an apprenticeship is a just as good, if not better, route to take. You gain valuable experiences from the company you want to work for, whether it is hands on with equipment or documented information going onto a system. While you learn at University, you don’t get the opportunity to actually apply it in the working world on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, through an Apprenticeship, your education is funded, so there is no worry about university debt. Plus you're handed responsibilities and important tasks to get on with, so you feel valuable to the company.