Teachers suggested engineering to me when I was in year 9 or 10 because I liked Art and DT, but was also good at maths and science. But at the time I didn’t know what engineering was, and thought that the people that fix things like vending machines and boilers were engineers (they’re not, by the way, they just often use the title incorrectly) which didn’t appeal to me at all and I had no idea why my teachers thought it would, so I ignored them.
When I was doing my GCSEs I was still no clearer on what I wanted to do as a job, then I saw a news story about Beagle II, which was a mission to send a probe to Mars. The person being interviewed said it was being made by British Engineers. So I thought, well, if that’s engineering, perhaps engineering would be cool after all!
Then I did some research and realised that professional engineers are just what as children we call “inventors” – they design new things to solve problems or make things better than they were before. So they do all sorts of things that I think I would have enjoyed a career in – like developing green energy like wind, wave, and tidal power, robotics, medical engineering like implants, joint replacements, and special prostheses (for people like Paralympians) AND space missions. And I thought all that sounded cool, and I’d like a job in any of those fields, so I’d become an engineer. I just ended up in the Space Industry out of the available options.