Becky Thomas

Name: Becky Thomas

Age: 22

University: Southampton

Degree: Ship Science

Date of Award: 2012

Gaining a UK NEST scholarship has been incredibly important to my professional development

Brief Summary of Scholarship

I was first made aware of the UK NEST scholarship after completing a summer internship with BMT Defence Services Ltd at the end of my second year at university. Following the interview process I was lucky enough to be one of the people selected, and went on to receive a wealth of support from my assigned mentor and the network as a whole.

Gaining a UK NEST scholarship has been incredibly important to my professional development; having the knowledge that you are supported by some of the most influential organisations in the industry has improved my level of confidence in finding placements and a graduate job. The networking opportunities presented by the UKNEST activities offer the chance to meet industry leading professionals and therefore gain an insight into the current hot topics and challenges within the sector.

Scholars are assigned a mentor who can help with: careers advice, internships, university projects and much more. My UKNEST mentor for 2012/13 was Rod Passingham at BAE Systems in Portsmouth. Rod was extremely helpful, showing me around the site and introducing me to the department. Knowledge of different companies and their type of work is extremely useful as an undergraduate: it is important to know which places would interest you before signing up to a graduate scheme. Being attached to the dockyard also gave me the opportunity to see the new QE aircraft carriers being built up close.

I am now in the process of applying for graduate jobs, and my contact with the various UKNEST companies has given me a good knowledge of the direction I would like my career to go in. The exposure to the industry through this scholarship has definitely helped give me the edge in the application process and made me much more informed for any future interviews.