Meet the former Engineering student leading the surge of female engineers

In what could be perceived by some as a male-dominated industry, the number of female engineers is continuing to rise.


In what could be perceived by some as a male-dominated industry, the number of females within engineering is continuing to rise.

Former Oaklands College Engineering student Helena Kelland (pictured), is currently in the second year of Leonardo’s graduate programme at their Luton-based site.

When Helena didn’t get the grades that she expected in her A Levels, she realised just how much she wanted to pursue engineering as a career choice and her determination shone through.

Helena achieved her degree through a foundation engineering course split between Oaklands College and the University of Hertfordshire, providing her with the platform into Higher Education that she needed to pursue her dream career in engineering.

After successfully completing her foundation year, Helena was accepted full-time on to an Electrical and Electronic Engineering Degree at the University of Hertfordshire. From there, Helena met one of Leonardo’s Technical Apprentices, who was studying a part-time degree whilst working at the company.

It was that encounter that led Helena onto a summer placement programme, a path which is accredited with changing her career plans.

Speaking to ‘The Engineer’, Helena said: “I thought that if he is getting paid to work and study a degree at the same time, then they must be a good company, so I applied and luckily was offered a summer placement – That’s how I got to know Leonardo.

During my first year at university, they [Leonardo] gave me a call and asked if I would like to come back to work full-time on their graduate scheme and I was delighted. I already knew the company and some of the people who worked there and for the remainder of my degree it gave me peace of mind to know that I didn’t have to worry about finding a job at the end of my degree.”

If you’re inspired to follow in the same footsteps as Helena, you can learn all about our Engineering courses here.

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