‘I’m from a military family and I’ve always wanted to work in defence. For health reasons I wasn’t able to join the armed forces directly so I looked at what BAE Systems had to offer, and it was really interesting, with such a wide range of roles, products, and services. I joined the business on a graduate scheme in September 2019 and secured a role with the Innovation & Growth team in Rochester, which is an ICT research and development team. The opportunities that I’ve had since, and the responsibility I was trusted with so early on in my career have been really motivating for me. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve just got a promotion, so it’s nice to feel valued and rewarded.
I find the work really stimulating. I’ve worked on a number of submarine projects and on improvements to Chinook helicopters, which was fascinating and lots of fun. It’s rewarding when I see a Chinook in the sky to know that my engineering makes it safer and easier to fly. My grandfather used to build planes, so it’s been interesting to talk to him about what he used to work on and what I’m working on now.
BAE Systems has really invested in me. I’ve been able to access all kinds of additional training, I’ve got qualifications from MIT and Cambridge University on my CV, which is very cool. Plus, I’m on our Future Talent programme, which is fast-tracking my development. I know how I’d like my career to progress and I’m getting every support to make it happen. Some of the opportunities I’ve benefitted from don’t directly impact my current day-job but will help me in the future, and the business is fully supportive of that. If there’s something you need to help you progress, you can go for it and make it happen, it’s not a case of waiting around and hoping.
I’ve always looked for opportunities to build my network. During my graduate programme I was involved with the Graduate Council where I supported in running workshops and immersion sessions for fellow graduates. Through this, I’ve made connections with colleagues from different parts of the business, all over the country. It’s great to have these people as friends, and it’s also really helpful with my career plan and how I want to progress in the business.
I'm very interested in process improvement; I find it really satisfying to come on to a project and make a change and see how that change makes an impact. On a recent project I suggested some changes to the way we were progressing with a new product, which were then presented to some of our senior team and taken forward. That’s very satisfying, being listened to and having my ideas valued and acted on.’