Degree Discipline: Mechanical Engineering
Home Town: Liskeard, Cornwall
Time on Scheme: 8 Months
Current role and title
I am currently working as a graduate engineer in SP CISR IPT based at Abbey Wood, Bristol. I am mainly working on an Urgent Operational Requirement which arrived shortly after I did in placement. By the time I leave, it is expected that at least part of the equipment will be in theatre. Working on this type of project has enabled me to see more aspects of the acquisition process than I would have working on a ‘normal’ project.
What attracted you to DESG:
Flexibility. I was always keen to join a graduate scheme accredited by the ImechE, but DESG provides the opportunity to complete a series of varied placements in a range of locations, both within the MOD and in wider industry. Graduates create their own training plan to DESG guidelines, which tie in well with the ImechEs route to chartership.
Highlights of your career to date:
As a graduate, you’re offered many opportunities which you won’t necessarily get otherwise. In the past few months, I have lunched with the captain of Fort Victoria, had a tour around HMS Spartan before she was decommissioned, visited the Defence Vehicle Display where I went off-roading in a Piranha armoured vehicle and had a ‘tour’ of the speed bowl in a Vauxhall Monaro at 150mph. I have experienced the adult ‘playground’ that is the tank shed at DA Shrivenham, been out with the Royal Marines in an Offshore Raiding Craft and travelled to Norway and Denmark. Being the first person to chair a meeting in the briefing room of Burlington Nuclear Bunker was also a highlight!
What you hope to achieve in the future:
Ultimately I’d like to become a chartered engineer. Although it’s relatively early in my career, I have no intention to leave the MOD on completion of the graduate scheme as it is already providing me with a diverse range of experiences helping me on my way to chartership. In September, I will start an 8 month course at HMS Sultan, where I hope to gain a more practical and in-depth experience of Marine Engineering with respect to the military.
What advice would you give someone thinking of a career in the MOD:
If you have ambition and initiative, go for it! The most important thing to remember is that the grad scheme is what you make it. Take the opportunities offered and if you think there’s something you want to do, but it isn’t currently offered – just ask! There’s so much on offer, and graduates are given a personal training budget to spend (within reason!), make the most of it! Talking to the people around you is often the best way to find out about what is available to you.