Will Barnes

Name: Will Barnes

Age: 21

University: Durham

Degree: MEng Mechanical

Date of Award: 2013

a breadth of knowledge puts things more into perspective

How did you hear about the scholarship scheme?

Durham University Engineering Department email

What do you think was the greatest benefit of having the scholarship?

The guidance offered by my mentor when I was applying for internships and writing my CV was invaluable. Having a critical opinion within industry led to confidence in interviews and ultimately me receiving the placement I wanted.

My mentor’s guidance when applying for internships

What other benefits did you find while being on the scholarship scheme?

The bursary part of the scholarship ensured that I could make the most of everything that university has to offer. It helped to pay off some of the debt accumulated from living costs last summer, whilst volunteering to work at AgustaWestland. As a result I’ve now been able to afford to keep going with the extra-curricular activities that I enjoy like Hockey, Basketball and painting.

Did you find the time spent with your mentor useful?

Yes. Due to geographical location, with Jeff in Bristol and myself in Durham, I actually only met Jeff for the first time a few weeks ago. As well as give me an interesting tour of the Babcock buildings, he was able to expand on the advice that he had given earlier in the year and really helped me to think very carefully about the options available to me.

What meetings/events did you attend through being on the UKNEST scholarship?

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the UKNEST meetings that were advertised a couple of times by email due to academic commitments. However, being on the scholarship allowed me to meet with Jeff, as mentioned above, which was incredibly useful.

Furthermore, writing my essay on “The Future of the Naval Sector”, as part of my scholarship application, and visiting RNAS Yeovilton, allowed me to see how exciting the naval sector, but particularly the Navy itself is going to be over the next 20 years. As a result this has led me to organise recruitment meetings in both Newcastle and Bristol, alongside meetings with ex-naval servicemen to find out more about the RN.

How has being on the scholarship scheme affected your view on the naval industry?

I’m far more aware of what’s going on within the naval industry now that I was a year ago. This is mainly because I find it much more interesting because a breadth of knowledge puts things more into perspective. I’ve always had a general appreciation of what the naval industry produces, but as my knowledge of the area increases I have more of an appreciation of quite how incredible producing ships such as the Queen Elizabeth Carriers really is.

Has the scholarship had any effect on your future career path?

Hugely. I’m very aware that whatever route I take I’ll have the support and guidance from the scholarship, which is very comforting and allows me to think more clearly about what I really want. Moreover, whether I’m successful in applying to become a pilot in the RN or in becoming an engineer within the sector, I know that I can now make a much more informed decision because I was awarded the scholarship.