At 17, I was installing a CD player in my car, with some help from a friend (an engineering apprentice). Seeing the enjoyment I took from this activity, and hopefully some aptitude, he suggested engineering might be something I would be interested in. I researched what engineering was and so many of the different things I enjoyed clicked in to place – understanding how things work, problem solving, working with others, and applying theory into practical situations to name just a few.

I started a L3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering with BAE Systems at 18, developing skills and gaining knowledge in a variety of engineering placements. Upon completion of my apprenticeship, I continued to work as a manufacturing engineer supporting the build of F-35 jets. Key responsibilities included providing non-conformance planning to external suppliers, responding to Engineering Query Notes to provide clarification on plans, drawings, specifications etc., and monitoring data to identify trends.

In 2014, I moved to the medical device industry, working as a process/project engineer supporting the powder production areas. Although part of a large organisation, this was a small site with a small engineering team, which provided many great development opportunities supporting every stage of the engineering lifecycle. I supported the installation of new automated manufacturing equipment including Factory Acceptance Testing, Site Acceptance Testing, and Continuous Improvement activities. Connected to this, I facilitated the site deployment of LEAN principles including 5S and Visual Factory, created comprehensive Job Breakdown Sheets as part of Training Within Industry, and conducted video analysis on processes to identify opportunities to improve efficiency. I was also a member of the Process Safety Management team, improving awareness, storage, and handling of hazardous materials.

Since that chance conversation at 17, I have been passionate about engineering, and ensuring young people have access to information so they can make an informed decision about their career. Throughout my apprenticeship and engineering roles, I supported STEM activities, including the development of a work experience project, but I wanted to have a greater impact developing the next generation of engineers, and be a relatable role model for future female engineers. In 2017, I moved into education, working as a Skills and Development Coach for engineering apprentices. Key responsibilities of this role included coaching apprentices to ensure they reached their potential, creation of innovative learning and assessment content, and assessment of learners to ensure technical competency in line with the apprenticeship framework.

In 2021, I moved into the Education Services UK Capability Team, supporting the strategic development of our education offering to ensure we inspire, educate, and attract the next generation to work in STEM-related industries. I collaborate across networks and engage with service/business leads to align messaging and enable the delivery of local and national programmes. Continuous improvement is fundamental in this space, ensuring our offering adapts to reflect the young people we work with and the changing dynamics of our business, so my technical knowledge, understanding of the business, and previous application of LEAN is supporting my success.