Emma Cooke

Applications Engineer, Fairfields Control Systems Ltd

And - Young Apprentice Ambassador, National Apprenticeship Service


STEM subjects are exciting and rewarding.

What do you do?

I am currently an Applications Engineer within our sales department, as part of this role I meet with customers to discuss their requirements. I then take these requirements and find a suitable engineering solution, calculate how much it will cost and put it together in a technical proposal.

Why did you choose this field?

I’ve always had a passion for engineering and was also part of the Air Cadets which only made me want to pursue a career in it even more. I was around 13 when I decided I wanted to be an engineer although I wasn’t sure what field I wanted to go into. I first studied engineering at college where I gained a Level 3 qualification in Mechanical Engineering and during this time I realised I preferred the electrical side of engineering.

I had secured a full-time place at university to continue my studies when a careers advisor approached me to tell me about an Apprenticeship position at Fairfields. At this point I didn’t realise you could get a degree through an apprenticeship. I then researched the company and the apprenticeship opportunity and decided that it was right for me. I turned down my place at university and started my apprenticeship in 2012.

Since then I have gained a HNC/HND in Electrical Engineering and most importantly a BEng with Honours in Electrical Engineering. Not only did I get to complete these qualifications without gaining any student debt, I also got to gain valuable work experience and work on iconic projects such as Falkirk Wheel, Tower Bridge and Wimbledon Centre Court Roof. After my apprenticeship I then worked as a Design Engineer in our projects department for a couple of years before moving into my current role.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish I had known more about apprenticeships sooner, so I could have pursued one much earlier. Therefore, I now volunteer as a Young Apprentice Ambassador for the National Apprenticeship Service to share my journey and help other individuals consider apprenticeships as an alternative career route.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the creativeness behind it and the variety, every day I can be working on something different.

Best advice for next generation?

STEM subjects are not just for boys, they are exciting and rewarding and if you have a passion for the way things work or how they are made then definitely find out more about what you could be doing in the STEM industries.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

I once took part in a successful Guinness world record to celebrate National Women in Engineering Day in 2015 and have a certificate of participation for it.

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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