International Women in Engineering Day – meet Laura, product owner
Role: Product owner
Site: Oakdale, South Wales
About your role…
I am a product owner for one of the software development teams on the Evolve to Open programme. My role involves working with the product managers to derive features for the development team, so that they meet the needs of the customer. I also manage the features through their development; making sure the software fulfils the scope of the feature, and that they meet quality requirements.
What are you currently working on at General Dynamics UK?
I am working on the Evolve to Open programme, which will provide the future of tactical communications to the UK Ministry of Defence. The programme is currently being developed with the MoD to ensure that the Armed Forces are provided with the best possible equipment.
How did you become interested in engineering?
My first experience of engineering was participating in the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) while I was in sixth form. Before that, I didn’t really know what engineering involved, but my experience on that project led me to a degree in Engineering Mathematics, which was the perfect opportunity to pursue my interest in maths whilst applying it to a range of engineering disciplines.
“My favourite thing about engineering is that there’s such a variety of work. Each day provides new challenges.”
What is your favourite thing about engineering?
The fact that there is such a variety of work, which makes every day different. Each day provides new challenges which involve liaising with various stakeholders, such as the product managers, system design teams, product design teams, development teams, product test teams and customers.
Your experience at General Dynamics UK…
Being part of the graduate scheme was a great way to work in different areas in the business. I particularly enjoyed my time in research and development, working on projects where you could explore new technologies. Since the graduate scheme, I have still been able to work in different roles, allowing me to broaden my skill set and have exposure to various projects. I’ve enjoyed being able to be part of STEM work and encouraging other young people to consider a career in engineering, as that’s what made a difference to me when I was making plans for my future.
What is your advice to young girls who are interested in engineering?
Seek out opportunities to find out more, whether it’s a school project, an open day, a careers fair or even a TV programme. Engineering is a huge discipline with many career options, so the best thing to do is get as much information as you can, and experience as much as possible.