We’ve written once before about Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ apprenticeship program because we were impressed with the opportunities that the automaker provides for students. Today we want to share the story of another young woman to havebenefitted from the company’s program, Ms. Bethan Murray.
(We don’t know why it’s not “Bethany.” For us it is not to wonder why there is no y.)
Bethan describes her childhood-self as not being terribly interested in engineering or mechanical subjects. Instead, she says it should be no surprise to those that know her that she wears pink steel toe-cap safety boots when on the production floor.
However, while finishing her high school studies and watching the price of a bachelor’s degree balloon, she was advised to look into Rolls-Royce’s program.
An apprenticeship is somewhat similar to the U.S. idea of a co-op, which many students from NC State University participate in. These programs offer students significant, if not total, help paying for college by asking that they first take a job within the company.
In Rolls-Royce’s case, this job is actually something of a rotational assignment where students are given consecutive six-month posts in several areas of the company. The idea is that students will be able to find where they can contribute the most.
Bethan’s current position is in the turbine manufacturing department. There she helps assess the factory’s capabilities to make sure they are always operating at a near-total capacity, but not overly so.
Along the way, Bethan is earning her master’s degree which she will receive in the same amount of time as if she were a full-time student.
Note: Although the U.S. typically reserves master’s degrees for bachelor degree holders, in the U.K. the feeling is that the project-based nature of the master’s degree makes it a less expensive and more “real-world” alternative to getting one’s bachelor’s straight out of high school.
Although Rolls-Royce’s apprenticeships are not terribly feasible for American students—we haven’t investigated whether you have to be a U.K. resident to apply—the program draws excellent attention to the growing plight of enormous higher education bills for students.
The program is also notable for proactively showing how women make excellent leaders in the historically male-dominated fields of engineering, sciences and, to a lesser extent, business.
To learn more, please visit Rolls-Royce Motor Cars website.