What made you interested in attending taster weeks?

I wanted to study engineering at university after sixth form due to my interest in maths, science and technoology however, I didn't know what sort of engineering I would like to study. I was aware of the main fields of engineering such as mechanical or aeronautical but wanted to know more about the other types of engineering that I could study before choosing a degree. I also wanted to learn what it's really like to be an engineer in industry. The taster week would also provide the rare opportunity to see advanced military aircraft like the Eurofighter Typhoon up close that I wouldn't be able to find elsewhere.

What do you remember about the taster week?

The week was fast paced, challenging and very exciting. The days were action packed with time working in groups on a project, talks from engineers in the company, tours of the aircraft hangars and hi-tech facilities and finally evening activities to relax after a long day! The mix of project work and visits around site really helps you to learn about different engineering careers, BAE Systems and interesting future technology being developed. Seeing the Eurofighter Typhoon up close for the first timewas a real highlight, as well as flying a Typhoon in the simulators.

What did you take away from the week and what did you do with what you learned?

The week offered great insight into the world of engineering and career opportunities at BAE Systems. After discovering many new and diverse disciplines of engineering during the taster week, I decided to study Systems Engineering at Loughborough University. Attending the week really helped me make this tricky decision and motivated me to study hard during my A-levels in order to secure a place at university. I also gained experience in team working and presenting to an audience, which is important for working at university and in industry.

What do you do now?

During my first year of university, I applied for BAE Systems sponsorship for my degree. This gave me the chance to complete a number of placements at BAE Systems inbetween academic study. I am currently on an Industrial Placement Year at BAE Systems after finishing my second year of university, working in designing Mission Systems for aircraft. I have previously worked in Tornado Airworthiness and Typhoon Cockpit Design. All the placements have been fantastic and have definitely helped me with my academic work at university as I am able to apply the skills and knowledge I have learned to real world engineering challenges, putting theory into practice.

How did the experience help you get where you are now?

The taster week was a 'eureka!' moment for myself. Before the week I had never heard of Systems Engineering, so the taster week experience helped me to decide to study Systems Engineering at Loughborough and think about pursuing an engineering career at BAE Systems. I am proud to say I am working for BAE Systems during my degree and will hopefully return once I have graduated. The taster week definitely gives you valuable experience of engineering, which is rare to have whilst still being in education.

Have you got any advice for others considering applying for the taster weeks?

Try to stand out in your applicaton! The week is much more than just a chance to boost your CV. It helps if you have had experience in extra-curricular STEM activities like STEM clubs, work experience or hobbies but don't be put off if you don't! Write about any hobbies and interests you have that will show you are interested in learning about engineering. It also doesn't matter if you are thinking about studying at university, going to college or doing an apprenticeship; the week is designed to give you a taste of engineering, regardless of your future aspirations. I would definitely recommend applying even if you're still considering an engineering career, or would just like to discover more about the exciting world of engineering.