Pots, Pans and Panic – Heading Back to Uni!

Hi it’s Maisie here! We have had a bit of a break from the blog over the summer but we are now back and ready to go – I have even got a swanky fringe so it’s all new round here!

It is now nearing the time that I will be going back to university, so I thought I would have a little ramble about how I am feeling regarding heading back to uni after my internship year at Boeing Defence UK.

Excited but surrounded by pots, pans and panic I will venture back to Sheffield!

I had such an incredible year at Boeing Defence UK but now it’s onto my final year at the University of Sheffield. I’m heading back to university! I am ever so excited to get back to Sheffield, I adore the city and can’t wait to live there for another year. I do know that university will be different because of the current global situation but I hope that by being sensible and safe I will still enjoy my final year at Sheffield – time for me to get my degree!

How is university going to be different?

University life is going to be different in many ways, no late nights in the library, less societies and no dancing in clubs at 3am – the latter probably being for the best! But most importantly because of the current Covid climate I won’t be in any face to face lectures (most contact will be online apart from labs and some tutorials). This means I will be on my laptop for a large percentage of my day, I will need a good laptop stand and very comfy chair – and my glasses when my eyes are exhausted from reading about aerospace materials for hours!

What is my living situation going to be like?

I lived in a flat by myself in Southsea for a year so going back to Sheffield will be a readjustment in that sense. I will be living with two of my best friends so it definitely won’t be too difficult – we all get on super well, as long as everyone does their washing up! Also, as we have said before, Lily and I have been living together during lock down, in my opinion this has been good on a lot of levels – mostly me having to adjust to living with another human being again! I think Lily was more happy with the fact I love cooking which meant she got some tasty meals (if I do say so myself!).

So what have I learnt from my internship?

I learnt so much throughout my year at BDUK and I met some incredible people. It was not only aerospace industry knowledge I gained throughout my year, I have learnt so much about the world in general and about myself (cheesy I know but it’s true!!). I definitely think I am a lot more independent now after my year of work, not just in my actions but in my thoughts and opinions. University is the first taste of freedom for most people but you are still in that little educational bubble, I think taking a step away from that has really helped me to re-evaluate lots of aspects of my life. So using all this new found knowledge I really do hope to do my best and achieve as much as I can in my final year!

How will I manage my money?

With my year at BDUK I earned an income so I was pretty comfortable with my budget and spending. Now I need to snap back to student life, I will be keeping a strict budget and managing my spending. I have to say that my weakness is second hand book shopping, I just love a book bargain so I had better keep an eye on that! I keep tabs on my money by having a spreadsheet with all my outgoing payments, including rent, utility bills and also food shops – lily has told me about an app she uses called EMMA so I may have to have a look at that before I start my new year and new spreadsheet.

How will I be keeping to a routine?

Time management is a must and from my year of real-world work I had to have a structured work day. At BDUK I actually started work at 7am so it was a massive change from what I was used to, I would wake up at 5:40am to get into work on time. However I am concerned that I will fall back into my irregular sleep pattern that I definitely developed for my first and second year of university. No more 10am wake ups for me, I have got to keep to a proper morning routine and set a time when I will start working every day.

How am I feeling?

Because I have been away from university for a year I am slightly concerned that when I get back to I am going to feel old – I mean I know I’m only 21 but this years freshers were born in 2002?! I can’t quite get my head around that. Also a readjustment for me will be going back into an academic setting, I haven’t learnt in a structured way for over a year so I’m a little nervous about getting back into the swing of things. I am going to have to put a lot of time and effort into all my work and I know it will be different and strange in many ways but I am up for the challenge.

I had better get packing now, I’ll update you on how I’m getting on in the near future!

Maisie

2SistersInSTEM

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Inspirational Interviews – Thant Phway

In today’s ‘Inspirational Interview’ we are talking to Thant Phway – Quality Engineer at Boeing Defence UK.

Thant has worked at Boeing for 4 years and talks about the journey, the highlights and the challenges that have brought her to where she is today!

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us about your current job?
Hi, I’m Thant Phway. I am a Quality Engineer in Boeing Defence UK. One of my responsibilities is to ensure that the processes and procedures within our business comply with International Standards, Aerospace Standards and the Military Aviation Standards. I have been with Boeing for 4 years and prior to that I have worked in various areas of Engineering within the Oil & Gas Industry.

What/Who inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My dad is an Engineer and it was no doubt that I would be one too. He is always fixing things around the house and I was like his shadow. I used to help him take out tools he needed to fix a certain item and always interested in anything he was doing. He is however an Electrical Engineer and I knew from a very young age that I do not want to play with wires and I’d rather play with heavy tools and therefore, I studied Mechanical Engineering. Choosing Engineering was a very easy and smooth path for me. I have never wanted to do anything else.

How did you get to where you are today?
My parents have a huge influence on my journey to date. Both of them coached me well and gave me the directions I needed to make important decisions. As such, having a good ‘support team’ has helped me progress. I have also benefited tremendously from Leaders at work who mentor me and gives me the advice based on their own experiences. It is very important to have a mentor at every stage of your journey; be it in University or at work. Making mistakes is another most important factor that has contributed in my journey as without the mistakes I made, I would not have the chance to learn from it and to come out of it better on the other side.  

What does your typical day look like?
A typical day of a Quality Engineer consist of writing and reviewing processes / procedures. Another major part of the responsibility of a Quality Engineer is to plan an audit, conduct the audit and write the audit report so improvements can be made based on the findings of the audit. Conducting an audit can vary from 1 hour to several days depending on the scope of the audit. I am also a member of our STEM Strategy Group and Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership. As such, I also organise events related to these groups from time to time. I like to use my lunch time to go for a short run or go to the gym.

What are your career highlights so far?
My career highlight in Boeing certainly has to be when I got chosen to be part of the Enterprise Auditor Leadership Program. This program is a highly competitive program intended for a very small cohort of employees to gain exposure to all parts of businesses in Boeing. The program only choses 1 person per year outside of the USA region and for 2020, I am that person. This requires me to move to Seattle, USA for 18 months and I will be moving with my son and my husband. My future plan is to continue to explore the many businesses in Boeing and aspire to be a VP (Vice President) of Corporate Audit one day.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to cook – you can follow me on @thisisthant for some of the dishes I’ve made. Apart from that, I like to run and do gym classes where possible I also enjoy a long bicycle ride around the countryside.

Thank you so much to Thant for sharing her story with us, we really appreciate it!

2SistersInSTEM

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Inspirational Interviews – Anne McIlveen

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing okay! This week we are back again with another inspirational interview!

Today we are sharing Anne McIlveen’s story, she works in the aerospace engineering sector as a Field Services Engineer at Boeing. Anne started at Boeing as a summer intern and has basically never left!

Keep on reading to find out more about Anne and her journey so far.

Tell us about your current job.
Anne McIlveen – I am a Boeing Field Services Engineer, working to provide around the clock support for all of Boeing’s customers who operate the C-17 Globemaster III military cargo transport aircraft.

Who/What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
When I was little I didn’t know what I wanted to do, in fact I don’t think I even knew what a professional engineer was until I was 17. However, I was lucky enough to receive some very good advice; “pick a thing/subject you love, if you love something it’s much easier to spend time getting good at it.” As a result I just kept pursuing the subjects in school that I enjoyed.

How did you get to where you are today?
Whilst studying for my A-levels (Maths, Physics, and History) I was fortunate enough to be able to do a week of work experience in Bombardier Aerospace Belfast. After climbing over a Tucano fatigue specimen aircraft and learning about Non-destructive Testing techniques and composite materials I knew aerospace engineering was for me. During the summer of my second year at university I managed to secure a summer internship with the Boeing engineering team at Royal Air Force Brize Norton supporting the C-17. Almost 5 years later and I’m still there today. Recently I’ve just been awarded C-17 Delegated Engineering Authority, which means I’m now able to release new structural repair procedures for any aircraft in the worldwide C-17 fleet.

What does your typical day look like?
As a Field Engineer I’m based on a military establishment. My day often starts by discussing the flying programme and which aircraft the Customer needs engineering assistance with. After that my days can vary a lot. Sometimes I spend most of the day at the desk designing a new repair, and answering a variety of technical queries, whilst others can be spent on the aircraft investigating and helping solve problems.  As the C-17 plays such a vital role in national defence, it’s important that our customers can get around-the-clock technical assistance. This means that every few weeks I also provide 24/7 on-call engineering support.

What are your career highlights so far?
Last year I was lucky enough to spend 3 months in California working with our head office stress analysis department. Whilst there I got to attend the annual Women in Aviation Conference, which was a fantastic experience. Although it’s pretty hard to top that, anytime I’ve been able to help our customers fix an aircraft and fly an important mission has been pretty cool. For example, at the moment we’ve been doing lots of flights to supply PPE for COVID-19 relief efforts.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy doing lots of sport – swimming, cycling, running and stand-up paddle boarding. The more time I can spend outdoors the better!

Thank you very much Anne for sharing your story with us!

Lily & Maisie

2SistersInSTEM

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