Emily Clark, from Bede Sixth Form, enjoyed an internship at PD Ports as part of the Career Ready programme. Here, she shares how the experience gave her the skills, confidence and experience to start a degree apprenticeship at PD Ports.

Before I even started my internship I was interested in studying engineering at university, so securing an internship in the Engineering Department at PD Ports seemed like the perfect way to bring me closer to my dream career.

My time at PD Ports allowed me to experience what it would be like to work in engineering (something I’m very excited about), as well as what I can expect from the working world as a whole. I was also able to develop the skills, such as communication, which will enable me to work effectively in a professional environment.

I think the best part of my internship was being in a busy working environment and seeing all of the work each team does on a daily basis.

Emily was a fantastic intern, and everyone involved with her has been exceptionally impressed with her attitude, ability to learn so quickly and her capabilities. 

Lee Dolan, Emily’s supervisor

My time at PD Ports completely changed my mind about what type of engineering I wanted to do – I’d previously been totally set on mechanical engineering until I learnt more about things like material science.

After the four weeks, I really didn’t want to leave but, thankfully, I was offered – and quickly accepted –  a six-year civil engineering apprenticeship with PD Ports. I was so happy to have been offered the position as it’s the sort of opportunity you don’t expect to get and gives me a chance to create a career here within civil engineering.

The stigma that engineering is a “man’s world” is not true, all the men I’ve met would like to see more women in the industry.

I’m convinced that the apprenticeship can help take me to where I want to go but many students see apprenticeships as second best. It’s drilled into young people that full-time university is the only route and that was my plan but I’d encourage other students to consider what else is out there.

Don’t focus all your attention on university as the only option – think about opportunities like apprenticeships as they’re invaluable for real-world experience and skills. Girls, in particular, should not be intimidated – the stigma that engineering is a “man’s world” is not true, all the men I’ve met would like to see more women in the industry.

Getting involved with the Career Ready programme is something which I’d recommend to any student who’s starting to think about what they want to do in the future. Just remember to be confident and engage with the people you work with – it can only help you in the future.

Learn more about how Career Ready helps young people kick-start a successful future, or get involved today and make a lasting difference.