Darla Pearce

05 February 2024
Electronic Engineering Degree Apprentice

Meet Darla, an Electronic Engineering Degree Apprentice at our Luton site.

What is your current role?

I’m a third year Electronic Engineering Degree Apprentice.

What did you study at school?

Before I joined the company, I was living in Bristol and was doing Maths, Physics and Computer Science A-levels at sixth form. Since moving to Luton and starting my apprenticeship at Leonardo, I now study at University of Hertfordshire doing a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, alongside my work on site.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I chose this apprenticeship as I saw it as the ideal route into becoming an engineer. As someone who is not the best with words, I feel that the practical experience benefits my way of learning and helps me be the best I can be in my dream job as an electronics engineer.

What projects do you work on?

During my apprenticeship, I have been able to work on a number of Leonardo products and work within our Electronics teams. One of the pieces of work I have done that I am most proud of was presenting a design review of my antenna feed design, which required me to utilise all the skills that I had gained from my time on the apprenticeship scheme. As well as my placement roles, I am working towards achieving First Class Honours in my degree.

What do you get up to outside of work?

Alongside my academic and placement work, I have organised and taken part in a range of networking activities. One example is my work with the 'Fit For Future' team in Luton. As part of this, I created and organised an onsite escape room, and was able to use my connection to the charity committee to raise £250 for Cancer Research UK. In addition, I am currently helping to lead STEM Events such as the Rampaging Chariots robotic games competition.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To complete my apprenticeship with a First in my degree and to specialise as an Antenna or Microwave Engineer. In addition, possibly doing a Masters in a more specialised engineering field.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship, and why?

Yes, I would. I find it is the best of both worlds, as you earn while you learn. You gain hands-on, practical and real-world skills, which you need in the engineering field, as well as getting to complete a degree without the student debt. I find that the structure of working and learning is overall more productive and successful, though there is lots of hard work needed!

Our Apprenticeship Opportunities

Our Apprenticeship Opportunities

Our highly-regarded apprenticeship programmes – covering hardware and software engineering, business and cyber security – offer intensive training programme lasting 2-4 years, which results in apprentices graduating with a substantial depth of skills in their specialist area.