Natalie Simpson

14 February 2024

Meet Natalie, a Design Engineering Graduate Apprentice who was named Leonardo UK Apprentice of the Year in 2023.

What is your current role?

I am currently in my fourth year of the Design Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship, specialising in hardware electronics.

What did you study at school?

I studied a variety of subjects at school, but my favourites were Maths, Design, and Graphic Communication.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship as I am a visual learner and decided that working alongside technical experts within the industry would assist me when studying towards my degree.

What does a typical day/week look like?

No two days are the same for me at Leonardo. Some days I am simulating potential designs and developing them onto Printed Circuit Boards for fabrication, and some days I am in the lab proving prototypes for further development to be utilised within the wider research and development programmes that I am a part of. As well as individually managing my own projects, I am entitled to two days of study leave per week to work towards my BEng (hons) degree at the University of Strathclyde.

What do you get up to outside of work?

In my free time, I enjoy catching up with friends and family, as well as trying out new recipes and travelling to experience different cultures.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I have many aspirations for the future and completing my apprenticeship is just the beginning. I plan to gain as much technical experience as possible and aim to progress to engineering management to utilise my managerial and organisational skills.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

I have had so many achievements throughout my apprentice journey so far however, my greatest accomplishment was being asked to attend a careers night at my old secondary school to discuss the apprenticeships that Leonardo UK currently offer. So many teachers and pupils recognised me and asked me about my personal journey since leaving school. After the event, I was told by the apprentice management team that I had such an impact on my local area, that there has been a significant increase in applications to the apprenticeship schemes that the company offer. This has been the highlight of my career thus far, as there is no greater feeling than inspiring the next generation.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship, and why?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who loves a good challenge. My apprenticeship has allowed me to not only expand my technical knowledge, but it has also allowed me to grow as a person and learn vital industry skills

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.