Engineering success for Birmingham school girl

Monday 22 June 2015

Engineering success for Birmingham school girl

Tomorrow (23rd June) marks National Women in Engineering Day and, at Ark St Alban’s Academy in Birmingham, sixth form student Masooma is celebrating having just secured an engineering apprenticeship that will help her realise her dream of becoming a professional engineer.

"Ever since I’ve been a very young girl I’ve always been very interested in the things that surround us – what they are made from, and how they are made. Everything around us is engineered – the chair you’re sitting on, the laptop you’re writing on, this school building."

"The world around us is developing all the time - and engineering is involved in all of that. I want to be involved in the future – to find solutions to problems and be part of the development that happens around us every day."

Ark St Alban’s Academy specialises in both engineering and mathematics. In 2014, the school achieved a 100% pass rate in GCSE double award engineering, and an 83% pass rate in GCSE product design. 80% achieved A* – C in mathematics, maintaining the standards that saw the academy rated the top performing school in the country for progress in maths in 2013/14.

Masooma will begin her apprenticeship with Mechatronic Solutions in Kings Norton, Birmingham, after she completes her AS exams at Ark St Alban’s Academy this summer.

"Mechatronic Solutions only take one apprentice each year so I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity. They work with all sorts of companies – food, aerospace, cars – it will give me a taste of everything. Every day will be different – it will be such a great way to develop my understanding and skills".

Mechatronic’s Managing Director, Richard Evans, said, "Mechatronic are a leading UK automation company providing hi-tech solutions for a wide range of industries, we have an active recruitment programme to engage apprentices and trainees in the company supported by the Engineering Employers Federations training facility. We are delighted to have met and selected Masooma, she is an outstanding and passionate candidate and will be most welcome to join our team. We consider it so important to encourage women into engineering and to have Masooma join us compliments our vision."

With the support, guidance, and encouragement of the staff at her school, Masooma took the decision to secure an apprenticeship, rather than follow the more traditional route through university.

"I did well with my GCSEs – I got 4As and 8Bs. I thought I should take traditional route of A levels and university but because I had Bs in maths and physics some people told me I wouldn’t make it. But I knew what I wanted and what I wanted to do – so I didn’t let that put me down. I have a goal and I’m going to go for it. At the end of the day, I don’t want to have any regrets – I want to know that I have done my best.

"My strengths are in my practical work – and through that I understand my theory much better. I did lots of research and realised that not everybody who takes the academic route have the best outcomes because they don’t have the practical knowledge. I realised that the apprenticeship route was best for me – I’d get the practical experience as well as the academic – and if I want to go to university later and get my degree I can."

So what is Masooma’s dream job?

"At the moment I just want to be able to qualify as a professional engineer – as quickly as I can! One day I’d like to be a manager – I want people to look up to me and know that I’ve worked hard to get why I’ve got. I want to travel – I’d like to live abroad. I want to see how different things affect different people in different places – and how engineering is working in different countries. I just can’t wait to get started."