1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently learning to use a variety of software packages such as MatLab and Labview. I have undertaken many training courses such as Radar School where professors from various universities came to lecture on radar systems and technologies. I have been involved in projects where frames and systems need to be built in order to assist with field tests, showing me the process in designing and making a system, from its conception to the end product. Unfortunately I cannot disclose the nature of the projects I have undertaken due to the nature of the security surrounding them.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been enrolled on many training courses which have helped me to develop skills such as calculations surrounding radars and electronic warfare.At university I have learned a large amount about analogue and digital electronics, mathematics and circuit principals. Some of the knowledge has built on existing knowledge but has then expanded further and given me some background in the topics. I have developed professional skills such as organizing training courses from outside companies for fellow team members and how the logistics of the whole operation works.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme very much, the only issue with particularly the team that I am entering into is to even know the details of what the team does you need to hold a very high level of security clearance which takes around 6 months to acquire. However other work was found for me in the mean time and it allowed me to fully focus on my study and learn other skills.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is well structured and my team leader is going to try to enroll me on projects that coincide with what I am learning at university. There are also meetings with my university course lecturer and my team leader bi-annually so that they can evaluate my performance of me and coordinate the course.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team leader is very supportive and understands that the main goal is for me to complete my degree and further my knowledge to the best of my ability. The availability of support is vast as most people here are very good at what they do and also very happy to assist you with any issues you have.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider is Southampton Solent University. The lecturers are very knowledgeable and very happy to help you, and it is enjoyable visiting university. The tutorial sessions allow for lecturers to help with any issues you may have with the current topics and allow them to give you the support.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I feel that it helps to further my knowledge and provide some of the theory behind the work that I do here at DSTL. It allows for a basis of knowledge to be built and then if I encounter complex problems at work, I can then build on that pre-existing knowledge in order to successfully solve the problem.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There is a gym on site, and a group exists here called STEPS. STEPS is a group to help new starters to network and they arrange social activities such as group meals, paintballing, go-karting and much more. There are internal social activities arranged inside the team that I work in such as 'Doughnut Socials' where everyone can meet up for a catch up.
9a. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend?
It is a perfect environment if you like science and technology as there are very knowledgeable staff, advanced facilities and interesting work. The staff are extremely friendly and there is such a variety of work and projects to sink your teeth into, there is rarely a dull moment here at DSTL.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL?
You need to have determination and the will to learn, you also have to be well read on the subject of the job that you are applying for. 50 words is too much for this section and I want my amazon voucher so I am going to tell you that and breach the 50 word threshold.
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