Turning graduate promise into an engineering career isn’t always plain sailing. Often graduates struggle to transition into the world of full-time work due to a lack of confidence or experience, despite having the technical abilities to succeed in their chosen field.
One such graduate was James Thomson. Despite his masters degree in computing, James couldn’t find his way into his chosen industry.
“I didn’t apply for any jobs for the first three years after obtaining my second degree, partly because I was working on a portfolio piece, but mainly because I suffered from severe anxiety for about two years.”
James’ story is a familiar one, with standard CV screening techniques locking out candidates who don’t fit rigid role profiles.
Thankfully James found STEM Returners online and saw a programme opening near him at BAE Systems within their Air division.
“I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted for the programme – but I decided to apply anyway. STEM Returners phoned me however and told me that I was in fact eligible.”
“An interview for me at their site was arranged quickly. It went well and a day or two later I was offered a paid 12-week placement with BAE Systems Air, which I gladly accepted!”
The STEM Returners programme caters not only for engineers returning from a career-break, but also for graduates who are unfairly treated by outdated recruitment methods.
An inclusive environment with host companies helps to allay fears for candidates, who like James may suffer with anxiety as well as a number of other issues, preventing them from enjoying a successful career in their chosen field.
James found the welcoming atmosphere put him at ease during his first weeks on the programme.
“My experience with BAE Systems was very good.”
“Everyone I spoke to was nice and some of the more senior staff went out of their way to introduce themselves and ask me about myself and my STEM Returners placement.”
Even with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic towards the end of the programme, James still managed to complete worthwhile work on his placement, adding to his growing work experience in an enjoyable way.
“I was given a research task, which I could carry out on my own personal devices, so I still felt like I was contributing to some extent. Since the start of lockdown, my team and I have had a meeting each day from Monday to Thursday, so we can find out what everyone has been doing and discuss any problems we’ve been having.
“The most enjoyable part of my programme was definitely learning a programming language with associated tools and technologies which I had never used before.”
Showing his application and ability, James earned a permanent role at BAE Systems Air and he believes his success should encourage other STEM professionals in a similar position to apply.
“I would definitely recommend applying to a STEM Returners programme!”
“Before I attended my interview with BAE Systems Air, I had only secured three other in-person interviews, after applying for jobs on and off for about a year.
“From my own anecdotal evidence, I believe that most recruiters are put off by a lack of recent professional experience, but STEM Returners clearly realise that this is not the be-all and end-all, and that if you have the required knowledge you would be a valuable asset to any employer.”
Put your fears behind you and get back on track in your chosen field – apply to a STEM Returners Programme now!