I joined QinetiQ in 2015, straight out of University. My background was in Physics and Maths, and I knew as an undergrad I wanted to work for a defence engineering company like QinetiQ. They take a really personal approach to hiring, to make sure you are going to enjoy where you end up and ensure your skills are best used in the company. This has meant that I have ended up in Project Management! I still get to try all and any technical modules that take my fancy, but my role means that I get extra training as a project manager on top of these, as well as projects of my own to run. In just one year with the company I’ve worked in Maritime autonomy, Air and Space, complex weapons, general munitions, robotics, and internal investments, as well as getting experience in simulation, modelling and programming in my technical roles.
In every single role I’ve worked in, there is always an assigned module manager, and almost always a module ‘buddy’. This helps you get settled into your role quickly, makes sure you’re always kept busy, and means that you always have someone you can go to for help, hints and tips, advice or support.
If you know what you want to do in a career, or if you have absolutely no idea, QinetiQ is a fantastic place to work. You can mold the graduate scheme to give you the experience and skills you want and need, to give you an idea of where you would like to work, or to build skills around a particular area.
Whatever you want to make of it, the QinetiQ graduate scheme can become the ideal scheme for just about anyone.
Graduate Bio: Connor Guy
I have a degree in Physics and I joined QinetiQ in September 2016. My motivation for applying to QinetiQ stemmed from wanting to work on cutting edge technology in a fast moving industry. This is perfectly reflected in the role I was given as a Graduate Research Engineer whose team is leading their field. The reason I was able to find such a perfect fit in QinetiQ is in no small part due to the application process and how well QinetiQ got to know me as a person.
The video interview portion of the process was something that I had never done before and was not sure what to expect. In fact its just a chance for you to articulate yourself in person instead of on paper. It consists of sitting in front of a webcam and recording your responses to a series of questions. You can re-record your answers as many times as you like so there's no pressure at all.
One of the main things that stood out for me on the day of the assessment centre was how much emphasis there was on just being yourself and networking with people that you may end up working with on a day to day basis. During the breaks you get a chance to meet people from many aspects of the company and chat in a relaxed environment. I met the manager I currently work for on my assessment day during a lunch break and ended up chatting to him for half an hour.
QinetiQ are very supportive in helping you through the transition from university to working life and you can attend various training sessions and workshops. The early careers team are friendly and always available to help you out. You will also be assigned a graduate buddy from a previous year who you can contact with any day-to-day questions.
Graduate Bio: Stephanie Tudgey
Before joining QinetiQ on the Graduate Scheme, I completed a four year integrated Masters in Environmental Sciences at the University of Southampton.
I chose QinetiQ because I was impressed with its unique technology and facilities, and wanted to apply my knowledge in environmental science to the defence sector.
The majority of my time has been spent within the Environmental Consulting team, where we provide specialist environmental advice to QinetiQ’s customers. I was quickly given responsibility on several customer projects and have since developed my knowledge in Environmental Management Systems, Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Auditing. I have also completed two successful placements with the Energy Management and Corporate Responsibility Team, which have improved my wider understanding of environmental management and sustainability within the company.
I also chose QinetiQ, as the organisation is extremely supportive with professional development and over the past year I have benefited from training courses that have helped further my technical knowledge and membership with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
One of my most recent highlights on the graduate scheme was during my Hangar Placement in Boscombe Down where I gained experience on the flight line and even marshaled out an Alpha Jet! This was completely different to my usual day in the office, but actually helped me identify potential environmental impacts associated with aircraft maintenance that I would not otherwise been aware of.
I am also a committee member of ‘Cortex’, our new starter’s network and help facilitate our funded technical and social events. Cortex is a great way to quickly meet new graduates, apprentices and Year in Industry students based on your site.
Overall, I would highly recommend a graduate career at QinetiQ, as the flexibility to move around the company opens up so many opportunities for you to pursue very early on in your career.
Graduate Bio: Alex Pell
After graduating in 2015 with a MEng Mechanical Engineering degree I was lucky enough to have been offered a place on the QinetiQ graduate scheme the following September. As someone who had a wide range of engineering interest the QinetiQ graduate scheme seemed like a great place to experience plenty of different engineering disciplines. A year down the line, this has been proven true where I have spent time in areas in Naval Architecture, Communications, Research and Modelling. Not only are there a huge range of technical modules to choose from, there are also opportunities to explore vital non-technical and business skills sets. Overall the QinetiQ graduate scheme is set up to accommodate almost any graduate with almost any interest. The scheme understands the needs of recent graduates both professionally and personally making the transition from academia to the workplace very smooth.
Key areas of development for me have been the advancement of technical knowledge and being involved in business winning environments. Modules are not one dimensional; I have been challenged with new situations frequently which I feel is one of the best parts of the scheme. However, for me, the greatest accolade the scheme has is the graduate network itself. QinetiQ has a strong graduate focus which lends itself to having great co-graduates with whom to experience industry as well as occasionally relive life as a student!
Looking back on the graduate I was a year ago it is clear to see the difference a year can make. I now feel like a developing engineer rather than a graduate and this is largely down to the scheme QinetiQ offers.