Seventeen year old Carly O’Hagan from Cardenden has landed the job of her dreams with Leonardo, one of the UK’s leading aerospace companies.
Carly, now a Graduate Apprentice with the company, was formerly a pupil at Lochgelly High School when she completed a week of work experience with Leonardo. That’s when she said that she knew straight away that they were the company she wanted to work for when she left school.
During her sixth year at Lochgelly High, Carly became involved with the ‘Hand Picked’ programme from CR Smith, a unique employer sponsorship programme which supports young people into employment.
As part of the Hand Picked programme, CR Smith established an employability hub at the school in 2018, which is staffed by Hand Picked Project Coordinator Melissa Hynd two days per week. Melissa works with senior phase pupils to help them progress successfully into work, apprenticeships, or further education after school.
For Carly, the support she has received has been two-fold. Firstly, she sought help to develop her CV and to craft her job application. Secondly, she engaged in a work based project provided by CR Smith, to help with the achievement of her Advanced Higher qualification in Graphic Communication.
Carly explained: “CR Smith is a major sponsor of Edinburgh trams. The company set myself and another Advanced Higher pupil the task of developing an Easter design for the trams, using their ‘Window to Scotland’ campaign. We were invited to CR Smith to take a brief from their Marketing team and then had to present our concepts to the Marketing Manager and In-house Designer. It gave us a great chance to work on the skills we needed to achieve the Advanced Higher.
“I tell everyone who has congratulated me on being offered the Graduate Apprenticeship that I could not have achieved it without the help of Pauline McGeevor and Melissa Hynd from Hand Picked. They showed such genuine interest in me and Melissa was kind enough to help me out of hours when I had a lot to get a lot done and deadlines were looming. I am so grateful to them both.”
Earlier this year, Carly received the news that she had successfully gained a Graduate Apprenticeship with Leonardo and said she was “ecstatic” when she found out.
Having started in August, Carly now has the dual role of being a full-time employee while also being sponsored on a four year degree in Design Engineering at Strathclyde University. Carly attends the university once a month and has two days of online study each week.
At Leonardo, she has started working her way around six four-month placements across the business, undertaking specific projects in order to build her knowledge of the business.
Carly comments: “I knew when I did my one week of work experience at Leonardo that it was where I wanted to work after school, as everyone was so welcoming and friendly.
“While it is a massive change from being at school, the induction week I was given at Leonardo really helped me to settle in.”
Melissa Hynd, Project Co-ordinator for Hand Picked from CR Smith said: “Carly is the first pupil from Lochgelly High to be offered a Graduate Apprenticeship and we could not be more delighted for her. It is fantastic to hear of the achievements of young people like Carly and we wish her well for her apprenticeship and future career with Leonardo.”