All in the family: It’s no surprise that Michelle is doing exceptionally well as a Mechanical Engineering student, as both her Father and Grand Dad have worked as Engineers. With regards to people Michelle looks up to, she responded “It’s always been my dad. He’s always worked hard and is a great inspiration to me.”
Jumping into Engineering: Michelle received her start in engineering while she was in her secondary education. Given the option to pick two GCSE’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education), Michelle chose engineering as one of them. At the age of 14, she was given the opportunity to do an apprenticeship and was the first female in the UK to get accepted into the Young Apprenticeship Engineering Program. Alongside the engineering program, Michelle was able to work on her NVQ-Level 2 (National Vocational Qualification) which she said worked well together. “Because the school had offered engineering I got excited about it” Michelle recalls.
Fast Forward: After leaving the field for a brief time, Michelle is back and currently in her first year of the level three qualification at Weymouth College. She also is working as an apprentice for Sumac Precision Engineering. When asked what she does, Michelle replied “I’m literally working my way around each of the sections at the moment. I worked in assembly, and I’ve just finished some timing fabrication where I’ve learned welding and all sorts. I didn’t think I’d like welding, but I actually love it.”
She plans on achieving her HNC (Higher National Certificate) after completing her level three qualifications.
Any issues with being in a male dominated industry?: “Not an issue at all, everyone there is so lovely and they treat me like everyone else. You don’t fancy yourself as being any different. It’s literally just me in my class, and there wasn’t many girls in level 2 either.”
Ideal Career: Wants to get into the designing side/ drawing side of the industry. In school one of the projects we had to do was design a mobile phone, and thinking back on it now, I would love to design a really nice mobile phone.
Advice for girls wanting to go into Engineering: “Do it, It’s fantastic! It’s such a shame to see that there aren’t other women in my class, and it’s the same at work as well. There are not many women on the shop floor or even in the building. You want to see more women get into it and it’s such a lovely industry to work in. You meet such lovely people. It is challenging and it makes you think.”
Pastime favorites: Outside of classes Michelle participates in target shooting and has done so since she was nine. She also has a natural talent for cooking!
Have someone in mind? You can nominate the next recipient for the SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering Program, honoring the outstanding achievements that women are accomplishing day to day in the engineering community. Find out more information or get started today!