Why did you choose your particular career?
I have always been intrigued by the wonder of flight, aeroplanes and aviation in general since a young age. How such a large mass of metal can soar through the sky was amazing to me. So opting to study aerospace engineering was a natural progression for me.
During my studies, I did an overseas exchange with the University of Washington in the United States. There, I took up a module on propulsion that I enjoyed immensely. From then on, I focused on the propulsion element of aerospace, with a much greater interest in jet engines.
I did an internship in the purchasing department at Rolls-Royce during my third year. There, I learnt about the commercial and supply-chain side of a global aerospace business, which complemented my engineering knowledge. I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the aviation sector.
Why did you choose your current employer?
After my internship with Rolls-Royce, I felt that the company focuses on developing and training talent, and that they strongly believe in grooming fresh graduates for potential leadership positions within the company. Even as an intern, I was empowered to perform challenging operational tasks normally expected of a permanent employee. Thus, I applied with them upon graduation.
In addition, as Rolls-Royce is a global company, the chance to work across markets is also a huge draw for me. I yearn for the opportunity to meet new people and to learn and experience different cultures.
What does your current job involve?
I am currently in the Rolls-Royce – Operations Management Graduate Development Programme. This programme aims to develop graduates, with a focus on operational and supply chain management.
During the first 18 months, I will be deployed on three six-month attachments in various roles and business sectors, after which there will be a 12-month supported leadership role. Depending on my performance over this time, I may be offered the opportunity to take up a management position within the company.
How did you get the job?
I went through a full day assessment centre, which included logical reasoning and psychometric tests, a few rounds of interviews, and a group exercise. My communication skills and knowledge on the aerospace sector helped me to clinch the job.
What makes you good at your job?
There are a few qualities which help me excel in my role. Namely, perseverance to overcome obstacles and the determination to succeed. Being able to harness the synergy of a team and collaborate well with others is also very important.
You need to have the ability to negotiate ambiguity – to have the common sense and focus to understand complex situations and solve them. There is a certain amount of autonomy in the role so this ability is crucial to making progress.
What is your advice to students who wish to have the same job like you?
It is important to have a good understanding of the job or industry that you are hoping to pursue a career in. Try to find out more about the company, through formal and informal means. During the interview, I was asked some situation-based scenarios which I could potentially face in the course of my work and I was expected to have some understanding of.
And lastly, do what you enjoy! With that passion, anything is possible.