Securing a placement at the largest defence contractor in Europe, BAE Systems, is a dream come true for Aeronautical Engineering BEng/ MEng student Shaun Goodwin.
The 20-year-old from Nottingham had previously missed out on a degree apprenticeship with the company before enrolling at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Keen to prove himself, Shaun kept himself in BAE System’s talent pool by updating his details in the company’s prospective list each month believing a new opportunity would come up through the university.
That would prove to be the case and after a year-and-a-half of studying, and a trip to Toulouse courtesy of DMU Global, Shaun’s qualities shone through and he secured a year-long placement which he hopes will launch his career to new heights.
He will be working on a variety of projects, from initial design to the building and engineering of concepts.
“I’m not afraid to say when I got the call and heard I secured the position, I phoned my dad and shed a couple of tears. It’s something I worked really hard for and I’m very proud.
“In terms of experience and how the placement will look on my CV, it’s an absolute game-changer and a pivotal moment in my career.”
Interested in engineering from an early age, Shaun helped his dad build a supercharged trike based on the classic Volkswagen Beetle with his dad in their garage.
When his plans to do a degree apprenticeship with BAE Systems didn’t work out, Shaun enrolled at DMU, having been impressed by the positive vibe on campus.
It proved to be the right move and, with access to state-of-the-art equipment including a flight simulator, he has gone from strength to strength, securing firsts across his modules.
The Volkswagon trike that Shaun helped his dad build
He said: “It was devastating having the degree apprenticeship offers fall through but I wanted to keep as many doors open as possible and looked at universities as a backup.
“I remember going to a DMU Open Day and thinking that it was the happiest environment. People were eager to help and provide information and that’s all I wanted really.
“If you had asked me a year and a half ago what I’d have been doing, not a single detail would have been what I predicted.”
Shaun’s university experience was further bolstered this academic year when he joined students on the November 2023 DMU Global trip to Toulouse.
France’s fourth-largest city is considered one of the world capitals in aeronautical technology and is home to various museums and engineering institutions amongst its striking Renaissance architecture and rich culture.
Shaun (back) with students in Toulouse as part of his DMU Global trip
Shaun and the group enjoyed tours around the Aerostructures facility of Collins Aerospace, the Airbus Toulouse Blagnac Tour, the Aeroscopia Museum and the ISAE SUPAERO, the city’s internationally renowned aeronautical university where visitors can admire the decommissioned jets dotted around campus.
He said: “We were in Toulouse for three or four days and the people were super friendly and everyone we spoke to was super patient while we spoke in English.
“Collin’s Aerospace was a particular highlight. It’s such a hub for leading engineers in the field and I was able to chat to one of their lead engineers who moved over from the UK, so that was eye-opening.
“Being up close and personal with the Rolls-Royce engines, walking around the factory floor in the boots and equipment and chatting one-on-one with their engineers really stuck out to me.
“With DMU being such a diverse university, the trip was a great opportunity to mix with different cultures. The two lads I shared accommodation with were Muslim, so I asked a lot of questions about their religion, and we were able to have a lot of deep conversations which I would have missed if I hadn’t gone.”
DMU Global runs trips throughout the academic year for students across all four of the university’s faculties.
Information about all trips and details about how to apply can be found on the DMU Global page.
Posted on Monday 12th February 2024