“As an international student, I arrived in Scotland for the first time in my life with a suitcase and a backpack to start my first year in university,” she said.
“I didn’t know anyone and had to overcome the language barrier. I did that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and being proactive; for example, I stayed back after lectures to ask questions and reached out to strangers to start a conversation.
“At 19 years old, these simple things seemed so daunting, but I’m glad I did it because it made me a much more resilient person and taught me so much about making connections and building rapport with people.
“To students today, I hope my experience can help those who might feel isolated in the current circumstances. Don’t be afraid to make the first move to connect with someone, it may seem scary during the moment but always trivial looking back in hindsight.”
The transition from Student to working professional
Right after university, Ying joined Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing engineering graduate scheme.
“During the graduate scheme, I rotated around different parts of the business every four months and worked on different projects, such as assembly tooling and hybrid electric aircraft propulsion.
“What I enjoyed most as a graduate is the opportunity to develop professionally and learn while contributing to the project. I attended training and got to apply the skills in the workplace. It was also great to do that as a cohort of graduates, and I’ve made life-long friends.
“After the graduate scheme, I took on an improvement lead and a team lead role. As an improvement lead, I used lean six sigma tools to improve production processes. Then later as a team lead, I led a team to manage the non-conformance processes in a plant.
“During this time, I made sure to continue developing professionally and personally. I worked with my professional mentor on my engineering chartership that helped me identify development opportunities.
“I gained my chartership and became a Chartered Engineer in 2019.”