Joe Thorogood

I enjoyed maths and physics at school, but I was really fascinated by how things work. So mechanical engineering seemed a perfect choice of degree. I chose the University of Leeds because I got a good feeling about the University and the department when I visited on the open day.

The variety in teaching methods is one of the best aspects of the degree – hugely beneficial when it comes to jobs applications. I was able to tell recruiters about the leadership and soft skills I gained through group projects and the hands-on lab exercises, not to mention the benefits of the department’s links with industry. What better preparation for getting a top job?

Now I am on the Rolls-Royce Leadership Programme and I will take my first managerial position after only a couple of years in the company. Already I have worked across different sectors and sites, including six months in China and visits to Singapore and South Korea. I have even made a presentation to our CEO John Rishton. Many of the skills I learnt at Leeds – from time management to teamwork – help me do a good job. For example, I delivered several presentations during my degree, so I feel able to do this at work, even to large audiences and on contentious or complex issues – although it is still nerve-wracking in front of the CEO!