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Jessica Faulkner

Gaining EngTech as an Apprentice

Jessica Faulkner is currently an Engineering Degree Apprentice working at GE Aerospace as part of her bachelor’s degree. Her apprenticeship is extremely beneficial for developing new skills as she works with different departments and teams.

“I get the opportunity to rotate around the business in areas such as Software, Hardware, and Systems. My typical working day varies dramatically in each rotation, and I can also develop my soft skills by leading an educational strategy programme which includes organising events for students to inspire them into STEM.”

In addition to her varied apprenticeship Jessica also attends University one day per week where she is studying for a bachelor’s degree in electronic and computer Engineering, although her journey into STEM started earlier.

“I have always been interested in electronics and software and was able to take a computer science GCSE which is where I began coding, and I really enjoyed creating programs. I studied Maths, Physics and Computer Science for my A levels and then began the Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at GE.”

As soon as her apprenticeship began Jessica started preparing for EngTech and when it came to building her application the time already invested started to pay dividends.

Building an Application

Fully supported by GE and determined to achieve her goals Jessica quickly created a strategy for how to build her competence in preparation of an EngTech application in her 3rd year.

“During the first 3 years of my apprenticeship, I gathered evidence for EngTech. This involved doing weekly reviews of the work I had completed and matching it up to the different competencies. Every 6 months, I would evaluate the areas where I needed to gain more evidence and create a strategy for different ways, I could get evidence required.”

Alongside her own drive to succeed Jessica also received support from her employer as well as the IET to help kickstart her registration journey. Utilising the tools and guidance offered by IET’s Professional Registration Engagement team, Jessica was set up with a Professional Registration Advisor (PRA) to help her with the application.

“I found the application process easy to follow and getting a PRA review helped me to understand gaps in my application and made sure it was up to a good standard. My managers at GE were also able to give me feedback to add to the application.”

Jessica also found great benefit in her IET Membership which gave her access to key resources she would use for her application and beyond including Career Manager.

“I found career manager useful in giving me a guide on how to answer questions and to what capacity. Becoming a member of the IET allowed me to gain access to additional resources to enhance my career development.”

There was also the added benefit of being able to track CPD (Continuing Professional Development), something which Jessica took full advantage of and found very useful as it allowed her to identify gaps in her knowledge and then enrol on training to help close them.

After collating all her evidence and having the application checked over Jessica submitted and shortly after was successful in gaining EngTech.

More than just letters

Having become successfully registered EngTech Jessica quickly saw the benefits of the time she had put into the process and so did her employer.

“Becoming professionally registered has allowed me to become confident in my ability as an engineer. It is a recognition of all the work I have put into learning and growing as an engineer over the previous 3 years. In this way, my employer benefits as they gained confidence in my development within the apprenticeship programme.”

Knowing that she was well on track to achieve her professional goals and with a boost of confidence, Jessica was able to dedicate some time to her other interests including STEM initiatives.

“I currently co-lead a scheme called RETHINK which is a scheme to help foster Inclusion and Diversity in STEM with the core values of belonging, education, and growth. Our goal is to highlight opportunities in STEM to all, especially people who may not have considered them or had access to them before. It is also our aim to challenge and break biases.

Each RETHINK event contains STEM activities designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in creative thinking and problem solving whilst also promoting inclusive behaviours and providing a diverse set of role models. Events are run for students aged 7-17 years old.”

What next?

With her goal of becoming EngTech realised and her work in STEM already making a difference, Jessica has set her sights on her next objective.

“My next steps are to complete my degree and apprenticeship and alongside this work towards becoming an Incorporated Engineer with the IET.”

While she has already achieved a lot in a short space of time, it is clear that Jessica plans to continue her path to success which for her is “enjoying the work I am completing and actively engaging in training to further improve my knowledge and skills.”