Rowan Maltby

Business Studies with Operations and Project Management, Bournemouth University 
Internship - Summer placement and 12-month placement

For the duration of my internship, I've worked in Defence Aerospace as a project management intern in the combat engine team. This has meant working on contracts for the EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon and the RB199 Engine for the Tornado. I was originally placed on the EJ200 production contract, assisting with general day-to-day work. Over time I've expanded my role and now work on a number of contracts.

One of my most interesting projects has meant travelling to both Munich and Milan, and has seen me working closely with NETMA and the Italian Air Force. The Italian Air Force had created an online tool to track Work In Process (WIP) items. I was placed in charge of establishing this for Rolls-Royce and then updating the records. In order to achieve this, I have represented Rolls-Royce in meetings with NETMA and the Italian Air Force to help improve the tool. Working with people from different countries is a challenge but something I very much enjoyed.

Everything I do on a daily basis is interesting to me, but once on my placement I had the opportunity to sit in a Eurofighter Typhoon and turn on the engines just before it completed an engine ground run at the aircraft build line. This is something that very few people will ever get to do and for me is a memory I will treasure forever! One day is never the same as another - and this means you're always kept on your toes.

Despite the early mornings and sometimes long days, I genuinely enjoy coming in to work. To be able to work in such a friendly environment - I've found myself forming friendships with people 30 years older than me. I never felt like I'm just an 'intern' and have always been made to feel like a valued member of the team. I've been given responsibility that I never thought I would have - and to have trust placed in you is an extremely rewarding feeling.

Throughout my internship, I've improved my ability to communicate effectively. I'm constantly working with new people who often have conflicting interests. Being able to manage this and put your point of view across effectively is a skill that is critical for project management -but it's also something that will be extremely beneficial for group work at University and for my future career. Having worked with partner companies, I've also had to deal with language barriers, so I've had to learn to put my point across in a simplified manner. When I first started work I was trying to solve problems without looking at the bigger picture. Your actions always effect something else, and the industry we work in means that processes have to be followed. I'm now starting to think outside the box and identify problems that perhaps others haven't thought about – this is a great skill to develop, especially when leading a team.