I applied to NATS because I knew I didn’t want to go to university as it wasn’t the best option for me. Instead, I applied to three different companies for engineering apprentice roles and after receiving offers from two out of the three, I ultimately decided that NATS’ Early Careers Scheme was the best option for me.  

First, I applied online and did a psychometric test. A little while after I was invited to an assessment day where I had an interview and did two group activities where they observe you to see how you interact with each other amongst other things. It sounds a bit scary but it really isn’t – you just get on with the task that’s been set. After a couple of weeks I received a phone call with a job offer and I jumped at the opportunity! 

I’m now an Engineering Technician at Swanwick Centre, which is one of NATS’ two control centres in the UK. On a normal day I get into work just before 8am. There is a morning briefing where the engineers discuss any work that’s happening during the day or any issues we need to be aware of. During the day I could be doing anything from fixing workstations and general maintenance or even to taking radars in and out of service.  

When I have time in between practical tasks, I try to get some time at my desk and to get some HNC work done. – As part of the Apprenticeship Scheme I study for this qualification alongside my day job. It can be challenging to find the time if we’re particularly busy, but I really enjoy doing both the theory and practical at the same time! and I know it’s all going to be worth it!  

The best thing about my job is the people I work with. From the day I started working here I have received nothing but support and help. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really is like a big family here, everyone has helped to make it the best experience I could’ve asked for. 

The Early Careers scheme has helped me to bridge the gap between full time education to my first full time job. It has given me a lot of support while settling into my role and has also opened a lot of doors for me for my future within the company.  

There are always going to be set-backs and challenges. But you need to remember what you take away from those experiences and use it to your advantage; don’t let it drag you down. I highly recommend looking into an apprenticeship at NATS – go for it! 

NATS is launching its next round of Student & Graduate vacancies on 13th December. Head to nats.aero/careers and keep an eye on our social media accounts for more information.  


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Mike Allan

Great work superstar!



Lee McDonald

Well done Katie. Great post.



Stephen Kivlochan

Great article, with your confidence, skills and enthusiasm, you will have a long and rewarding career ahead of you in NATS. Well done.


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