Around a dozen STEM students from various universities across Scotland spent a very enjoyable day hearing from several female engineers, who talked about their backgrounds and work with the company. Selex is still very male dominated, but they are very focused on getting more women to work for the company and there are so many great opportunities for engineering and computing graduates. It’s so heartening to hear the stories of women overcoming the prejudices and discrimination, even in university, and their subsequent success stories of sticking in, working hard and being recognised for their talents rather than their gender.
We also got a tour of the facilities, taking in areas such as the climate lab and manufacturing section. My personal favourite was the section containing the near field and far field rooms, where they conduct various radar and antennae tests. The staff who showed us round were clearly very enthusiastic about their work, showing us the equipment they work with and the various pieces of radar equipment they make. A good amount of manufacturing is also done on site, although sadly we had to settle for looking through the windows when it came to the plant tour. Everyone was very happy to answer our questions, of which we had plenty!
The only downside of the day came from one of the ladies looking after us. After asking me what I’m studying (Computer Systems and Networks), she then assumed that I would be looking for an IT support job for a financial services firm after graduation. Cue the Jackie Chan meme:
Alright, so maybe they want software engineers and mathematicians more, but to categorise me like that without even bothering to ask anything specific about my degree is downright insulting. I mumbled something along the lines of “there’s more to my degree than that”, as I was so taken aback by her assumption, but by then she’d moved on. Obviously the fact I study networking and found the antennae work really interesting means nothing to some people!
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Selex and loved the tour of the facilities in particular. Their graduate scheme does look pretty good (the benefits are fantastic) and I would recommend you take a look.