Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Dstl careers: Emily, working in the world of fast jets
Emily's role as a scientist at Dstl has included opportunities to work on real world projects that make a huge difference to UK and wider defence.
Emily is a scientist and joined the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) on its graduate scheme after completing a Bachelors in Mathematics at the University of East Anglia.
I initially applied for a role as a Missile Analyst with Weapons Systems Group, being attracted to having the ability to apply my Mathematics degree to real world scenarios and make an impact to a sector that isn’t solely motivated by profits. During this interview, I was identified as having sufficient technical knowledge but lacking military awareness and it was recommended that I join the graduate scheme.
During Emily’s time on the graduate scheme, she was given the opportunity to rotate through the many areas of Dstl’s Platforms Division and experience everything it had to offer.
One of my first tasks was with the Combat Air Survivability Simulation team, which gave me an insight into the world of fast jets and their capabilities and developments. This team allowed me to develop my coding skills by teaching me new languages in a hands-on environment, delivering tools and conducting data analysis from the outset.
Emily enjoyed the scheme and working with the team so much that she chose to join them full time, and was offered a permanent position.
The team is close-knit, supporting each other both technically and socially, often working late nights together to ensure deadlines are met and capabilities are delivered. This supportive style of working allowed me to develop my skills from industry leading experts alongside making friends, not just colleagues.
The role has given Emily the opportunity to work closely with the military, which has provided her with countless opportunities to gain insights into the way they work – which she wouldn’t get to see or understand outside of the role.
As part of the 2-year graduate scheme, I was fortunate to complete a 6-month external placement at Combat Air Force HQ, working alongside the pilots and ground staff to deliver a modelling tool to look into their workforce and training pipelines and assess their future capability. This gave me an unparalleled insight into the military and problems they face and allowed me to deliver a tool that could help shape the future of the force.
At the end of the scheme, Emily joined the simulation team full time and has continued to develop her technical skills. She has also been given the opportunity to be a Deputy Team Leader for the technical team and a Graduate Team Leader for the scheme.
This progression has allowed me to develop my leadership skills and confidence and has set me up for a strong career at Dstl.
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