Yolanda Bullen

Systems Technician

Yolanda Bullen

Why did you join Leonardo?

When I was younger I loved taking things apart and learning how they work; this is where my first interest in engineering started. After finishing my A levels in Maths, Physics, Electronics and Biology, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and it was a very scary and confusing time in my life. I felt that at 18 years old I was making a decision that would determine my whole future. Should I go to university or do an apprenticeship? If so, what subjects or what company? But once I found the apprenticeship at Leonardo, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. By working for a large international company like Leonardo, I was not committing myself to a single role/job for the rest of my career. One of the main reasons for joining the apprenticeship at Leonardo was the opportunity to rotate around the different departments, gaining an insight into different types of engineering and access to a vast range of highly experienced and knowledgeable people.


What does your job entail?

After completing my apprenticeship, I worked within Hardware for a year before deciding that I would like to challenge myself in different ways. I am currently working as a Data Scientist within a team that creates apps and web browsers to display aircraft information for analysis. The role is so varied; I can spend the morning looking through large data sets and finding trends and patterns, using my interest in maths from my A levels, and by the afternoon I could be liaising with customers to ensure that our applications and software fulfil their requirements. Alongside this, I am also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador, leading our schools outreach programme in Luton, which involves managing people, time and budgets. I started this role as an apprentice, and involves attending careers fairs and STEM days, and giving presentations to students about apprentice schemes and life as an engineer.


What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy the variety of my role and have been given some fantastic opportunities. For example, I have been on flight trials testing some of our cutting-edge new equipment and have worked with customers and members of the RAF and Navy to understand what they want from our systems. I also attended a study tour in America to discover how other nations’ organisations have been through their digitisation process and to learn about some new technologies which can be adopted within defence organisations such as the MoD and our line of business. Other than the opportunities I have received through my work, I really enjoy the STEM outreach that I get involved in and sharing my experiences from working at Leonardo. Through this I have attended the Farnborough Airshow, addressed MPs at the Houses of to speak to MP’s about apprenticeships and women in engineering, and, most importantly, I have interacted and built relationships with students from local schools to hopefully inspire them to consider engineering as a career. In recent time, I’ve been lucky enough to see some of these students join Leonardo and see them progress within their careers.


Why would you recommend someone works at Leonardo?

I would recommend Leonardo as a fantastic place to work. Not only is the work stimulating and interesting, you are able to work with the latest, cutting-edge and most advanced technology in the world. This is in addition to working with such caring and supportive colleagues who are so knowledgeable yet down to earth. Leonardo values its people and there is brilliant career progression, while the flexible working allows you to have a good work-life balance.


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