It has always shocked me how diverse a software engineering roll can be, and this is something I never realised when I was at school, so it was never a career path I ever saw myself going down.

My first roll after finishing my A-Levels was a one-year apprenticeship in a marketing focussed role, just by chance I started getting involved with the web design aspects of this and loved it. It immediately became something I wanted to learn more about, so I completed a Level 3 qualification in software development.

After completing this I knew I wanted to further my education and started looking into computing-based degrees, which led me into looking at degree apprenticeships, the perfect way for me to continue gaining practical experience whilst furthering my education in computing.

Four months later I was working at STFC, as an apprentice software engineer, rotating through different departments at the organisation to gain a well-rounded perspective of the industry and being able to apply the knowledge from university directly into my day-to-day roll. I completed this apprenticeship with a first-class honours in Digital and Technology Solutions and went on to continue software engineering in a permanent roll working on the development of the 14 public facing websites, as well as the SharePoint sites used across STFC.

This is such a diverse and challenging roll, that constantly keeps me on my toes, and allows me to work with new technologies and projects regularly, as well as liaising with stakeholders across the organisation in order to meet different requirements and prioritise for these sites. I have also started line managing other apprentices who are at the same point in their careers as I was four years ago, in doing this I hope to pass on the professional and technical skills that I have gained to help them thrive at both university and in the organisation.

Being the first female apprentice in computing at STFC just highlighted to me the need for more female role models within STEM. To try and help encourage young women into the industry I have taken part in many outreach projects, such as open evenings, Q&A’s and experience weeks working at STFC, with young people to show them just how rewarding not only apprenticeships, but careers in technology can be.