Who are you, how long have you worked at Leonardo and what is your role?
Hi. I'm Cathy, and for the last year I have been a Project Engineering Lead in Leonardo’s Detectors business based in Southampton.
Where did you join from and what attracted you to Leonardo?
I was fortunate to secure a place on the STEM Returners programme in the pilot year for Leonardo. This scheme allows people like me to return to an engineering career, through an initial 12-week learn-as-you-go period with a very supportive team. Having previously spent time as a maths and science teacher – which fitted in well when I had a young family – this career change has been a great opportunity to build on my engineering degree and diverse background in consultancy work, banking and education. Seeing my transferable teaching and leadership skills recognised in this industry has been fantastic and the perfect opportunity for me to work in the defence sector.
What do you like most about your job?
The variety of working with lots of different people on challenging projects and bids. I also take great satisfaction in studying the background behind the projects and especially, where it may take us in the future.
What do you enjoy about working Leonardo?
I think it has to be the involvement in key space missions, improving future comms and helping to build a more sustainable future for our planet. The company is working a lot on sustainability and I am also looking forward to joining the Go Green Car Scheme. Leonardo’s approach to custom working is pretty good, helping me keep in touch with my team but with a better work/life balance.
What advice you would give someone considering joining Leonardo?
Firstly, assess your risk readiness before any move. Do your research by following Leonardo and study the website. Then, talk to the right people. Family may be a bit risk-adverse, not understanding why you are seeking a move, however former colleagues and employers would probably be more understanding. Extend the conversation by reaching out to people who are in the role you aspire to, as not only will they be a great point of contact in your network, they can explain their story and often offer advice, building your confidence.
Why you would recommend Leonardo as a place to work?
There are great learning and development opportunities across different sectors of the business, with strong team ethos, working together to get the job done. Come on board!