Jenny Barker

24 October 2019
Systems Engineer

Meet Jenny, a Systems Engineer who rose to her role by using the experience and knowledge she gained on the Leonardo graduate programme.

Why did you join Leonardo?

I first worked at Leonardo as a summer placement student after my second and third year at university. I studied electronic engineering at University of Warwick and was keen to apply knowledge from my degree in industry. I completed many different projects during my summer placements including some hardware engineering drawings, circuit design and soldering. I also completed coding projects in Visual basics, LabView and Verilog HDL. I found that I preferred my coding project to my other work especially the coding that had a visual element and I enjoyed the systems thinking stages of a project. I therefore decided to come back to Leonardo as systems engineer on the graduate programme.

What does life on the Graduate Programme entail?

Being a graduate is great fun! You get to be involved in loads of different projects and activities. During the scheme I split my time between working as a systems engineer; developing mobile and website applications, completing graduate modules with other Leonardo graduates, facilitating and volunteering at STEM courses, Organising and running charity events, and completing training courses.

In my role as a graduate systems engineer I engaged with our user community in RNAS Yeovilton and RAF Coningsby understanding their roles and creating user requirements based on their needs. I really enjoy working in a dynamic environment where I can use my skills as an engineer to design and improve products. I have designed and coded an android mobile application prototype which is really fun and innovative. I’ve been trained in software project planning technics such as AGILE and Design thinking enabling me to facilitate my own design thinking workshops.

The graduate development modules at Leonardo really improved my development within engineering and industry.  I learnt about presentation skills, personal goal setting and vision planning, and team work and communication skills. They are also a great opportunity to meet other graduates across the UK and Italy.

Tell us what you do in a typical day

I can honestly say no day is the same for me, I could be at my desk coding, I could be creating mobile app designs, I could be in Italy at a conference, I could be running a workshop for customers, I could be in a school teaching students, I could be giving a presentation to hundreds of colleagues, I could be on a training course, I could be giving a product demo, the list is endless. 

What have been your best moments / biggest achievements so far?

It’s hard to choose an exact moment as the best or biggest; I’ve learnt and grown a lot during my time at Leonardo both professionally and personally. I do love working on a creative project. Some people might not associate engineering with creativity but developing an android app as new user interface for our customers was really exciting. Working on its design all the way through to when it was deployed to users was very challenging and great achievement for me.

What are your career aspirations?

At the moment I want to continue to design and develop new products that are innovative, creative and fun. At the same time, however, I constantly want to learn new skills and improve both technically and professionally, to achieve expertise in my field.

Why should someone consider joining the Graduate programme at Leonardo?

I would recommend Leonardo if you are looking to join a company where there is a real  sense of community, where the project work is challenging and interesting, where there are opportunities to develop new skills, travel with work and try new things.