Fiona Crabtree - Commercial

Fiona Crabb

English and French, University of Exeter

My first attachment was working with Boeing on the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft. As both a customer and supplier, our relationship with Boeing has a unique dynamic. I also managed a Future Programmes research project, giving me exposure to the constant research and development that is undertaken to stay ahead in the Aerospace industry.

I also completed an attachment in our Marine sector. I worked on a project to understand how we deliver a parts service to our customers worldwide and put together a proposal outlining how this process could be improved. Highlights of this role included a trip to Norway to meet our suppliers, developing an understanding of wider issues of doing international business such as tax and trade restrictions, and producing a report that has been used as a basis to improve a key service offering.

My final attachment has taken me to Indianapolis in the USA to work as sole commercial contact for two of our largest regional airline customers. The role has given me a breadth of responsibilities from managing debt to helping define the strategy for our fleet in the future.

Working on the Trent 1000 engine programme. I started by working with Boeing to deliver the engines for installation, to produce a brand new aircraft. During a subsequent attachment I supported a campaign to win business with a major partner airline to purchase these engines on the Boeing 787 aircraft. Working on several stages of such a huge programme helped me understand the full process and gave me an appreciation for the huge amount of effort of so many people to put a new aircraft into service.

The best aspect of working at Rolls-Royce is the breadth of opportunities that are available within the company, and the chance to work with customers and colleagues across the globe. Graduates are given real tasks that contribute to the team and company objectives, developing a sense of responsibility and achievement.

During my time on the graduate scheme I have participated in courses to enhance my understanding of everything from the way an engine works, to process improvement and interpersonal skills. I have just completed a Finance course, which has helped me to understand the way budgets, forecasts and statements are calculated and how this impacts the business and my day-to-day role. My favourite course was in Influencing skills, focusing on the different ways people operate at work and how best to get your point across to each type of person.