Kate Spark

Assistant Technician, Electrification team

What was your route into Engineering?
I studied engineering at A-Level in the hope to join the RAF as an aircraft engineer, and 11 years later I made the decision to get back into engineering after trying my hand at everything from counseling to calf rearing! I’m now on an apprenticeship with SYSTRA working towards a Level 3 BTEC in Engineering, specifically within the Electrification team.

Is engineering different from what you expected?
Engineering is such a broad term, I was surprised at how many different types of engineering there are and how different they can be from each other, just within the rail sector alone. I truly believe there is a type of engineering for everyone… contrary to popular belief; you don’t have to be amazing at maths and physics to start a career in engineering!

What is the best part of your job?
I love being involved in projects where we are able to come up with more sustainable solutions to designs, I think it’s extremely relevant in today’s climate and it’s nice to be able to contribute to a positive change!

What would you say to someone considering a career in engineering?
Choose which route is best for you. I wasn’t in a position to start another full-time degree so I decided to look into an apprenticeship (without much hope as I thought I might be a little too old!). I was surprised at how many opportunities were available to me, I just needed to spend that time researching and asking people for advice. Never be put off emailing or calling people – the worst that can happen is they can’t help, but more often they can and will!

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