David Merron from Lagan College Belfast, our 2019 Leidos Student of the Year for Northern Ireland, shares how the support of his mentor and a paid internship with Caterpiller gave him the skills, confidence and opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future.

My plan is to study Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast and pursue a career in computer programming. Thanks to the support of my mentor and my internship experience, I now feel much confident about what the future holds for me and being able to achieve my career goal.

During my internship, I was tasked with designing and 3D printing a bracket for a door used on a generator unit in Caterpillar. My placement was great as it enabled me to get a very real experience of what the workplace is like, and it developed my confidence and communication skills as I had to interact with new people and work with them on projects.

My highlight of the programme was finishing my placement with a working prototype, as it showed that my time spent was time well used.

My mentor, Natasha from HMRC, also provided me with great support and her advice about being focused on your goals will stick in my head for years to come. Although not working in the sector which I am looking to get into, she was very helpful as she always brought along sheets of information on different topics for us to discuss together, such as personality types information on different career pathways. I would like to thank her for all the amazing support she has provided me.

Learn more about how we help young people such as David kickstart rewarding futures or get involved today and make a lasting difference.