Jessica Critchley at Dowty Propellers
I study business management at the University of Chester, and graduate in 2020. While applying to university, I noticed many universities offered the courses with a ‘year in industry’ making it into a four-year course. This was something that really appealed to me as I was unsure what area of business I wanted to create a career in, so I thought gaining real-world business experience would give me more clarity on the different career paths I could take. It would also make me stand out from the crowd compared to other graduates, so doing a year in industry was a no-brainer for me!
What is your role?
I am doing a 12-month project management internship at Dowty Propellers, a subsidiary of GE Aviation. I am working within the New Facility Team, supporting the design, build, and transition of Dowty Propellers into their New Facility. My role is very varied, I’m always working on interesting and challenging projects. As part of my role, I get to lead cross-functional teams on a variety of projects. My favourite project so far was the creation of the digital Management of Change RAMS application. This app will be used to ensure we meet all health and safety requirements during the transition. This app will also be used once we’ve moved into the new site, and continue to be used after my internship finishes. It is really rewarding to have created something that will have a lasting positive impact on the business!
What is the best thing about your internship?
Being exposed to elements of business I wouldn’t have experienced from my degree, especially the engineering elements of the aviation industry, which I would never have seen from university. I enjoy the amount of responsibility that I have been given as an intern – it’s not all getting teas and coffees like in the movies! I love being able to work on meaningful projects and see the positive impact that my work has on the business.
How has your internship prepared you for your future career?
The hands-on experience of working within a business has helped me enhance my skills and apply theories that I have learnt from university. My internship has opened my eyes about the range of graduate schemes on offer. This has enabled me to think in more detail about my future career path and options. I believe that my experience will make me a more successful graduate.
What would your advice be to anyone thinking about an internship?
Apply! Having the opportunity to gain experience before you graduate is fantastic and it can help you see what areas of business you enjoy, and what areas you don’t. Applications can be competitive, so stay persistent and keep applying until you find a role you love! My key word of advice would be, make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter to each role you apply for, relating your skills and experience to the businesses values and the job specification.