Arina Dobryden

08 March 2023

Meet Arina, a Software Engineering graduate apprentice at our Edinburgh site.

What is your current role at Leonardo?

I am a first year Software Engineering apprentice, working on the MIYSIS Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM). As I am at the beginning of my apprenticeship, and have not specialised yet, I therefore work on a wide variety of tasks to complete which allows me to gain the broadest work experience possible.

What did you study at school? 

I studied five Highers – Maths, English, Human Biology, Computer Science and Business Management. I proceeded to take Biology, Business and Computing to Advanced Higher.

Why did you decide to join Leonardo?

Leonardo specialises in aerospace, defence and security – all industries that require technological solutions, which I wanted to be a part of. The apprenticeship scheme had incredible development opportunities for early careers, which stood out from the crowd; it enticed me to work for a company that would support both my studies and my practical experience. Leonardo offered me the prospect of being able to study for a degree that I am passionate about, whilst also working in a company that challenges my knowledge and allows me to apply my studies directly to my work. This opportunity has also allowed me to gain invaluable insight into the workplace and learn about the standard my work is expected to come to.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I always suspected that I wanted to go straight into work after finishing school, but I also wanted to gain a degree to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of what I do. After learning about the opportunities that Leonardo offered, I knew that there was no other option for me other than a Graduate Apprenticeship. I don’t regret my decision and would absolutely urge others to try it as well!

Tell us what you do in a typical day.

Typically, I work at the office three days each week. At the office, my tasks will vary depending on my placement; in my current placement, within the Miysis team, I’ve been working on a range of tasks, such as altering and fixing code, organising/clearing technical debt, writing my own new code, or editing vital documents.

Normally, my team has a meeting every day to help each other with any issues we may be encountering, or to discuss where we are currently at with our work, to ensure we don’t fall behind schedule. Whilst the general layout of each day is very similar, the days do vary largely due to different meetings to meet new people and many different tasks to build up a varied skillset.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the practical application of my learning into my work. Being able to see the work that I am learning at university be put into action in the workplace isn’t only rewarding, but incredibly satisfying. In addition, I like talking to more experienced Software Engineers and finding out about their experiences in work and listening to the different projects they have worked on. This inspires me to become better at my job and teaches me to deal with whatever I might face in the future. Not only this, but I enjoy the accomplishment of contributing to real company projects and having an impact on the business and their customers at such a young age.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I thoroughly enjoy sports, and take the gym quite seriously. However, I also enjoy taking time to myself to read a book. I find the gym a good way to wind down after work and to focus on bettering myself and being a healthy individual. They both improve my mental and physical health.

What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?

I’m incredibly proud of how quickly I’ve been able to integrate into my team and pick up any loose ends with tasks that I’m working on – as I’m now working with different programming languages that I am used to.

I’ve already been involved with some Leonardo STEM outreach events, which allow me to present activities to primary schools and the younger years of high school, raising awareness of the apprenticeship schemes at Leonardo. I am a member of a team taking part in the IMechE Automation Challenge later this year, where we are innovating and creating a new product.

I am proud of the connections I have created through networking, not only with my fellow apprentices, but also with various people from different departments.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to continue to impress within my department and excel within the company by both broadening my understanding and theoretical knowledge (which I am building through my Software Development for Business degree), and my practical experiences within my day-to-day work. I aspire to move through the job framework from Engineer to Senior Engineer, ultimately ending up as Chief Software Engineer at Leonardo