My name is Eloise Planner, and I am currently a project manager on the NATS 2022 graduate scheme. Initially, I was meant to join the company in the 2020 cohort, however the pandemic meant that my dream was put on hold for a little longer – but I’m here now!

Following on from completing my law degree at the University of Sussex, I decided I was interested in pursuing a career in change and project management. Luckily for me, I heard about NATS through some online job forums as well as word of mouth and quickly became captivated by the idea of working in the world of aviation.

Eloise at her graduation

Due to my express interest in NATS, I was invited to attend a Future Minds event in 2019 at Swanwick Centre whilst studying for my degree. The Future minds event was held specifically to inspire more woman to join the aviation industry and showcase the vast number of careers available at NATS. It was a remarkable day where I was lucky enough to meet lots of people from different areas of the business, including members from air traffic control, HR and Operations Support teams.

The Future Minds organisers really focused on helping us understand air traffic control, why it’s so important and the exciting future of airspace. We even got to see the new London City Digital Tower before it became fully operational. The event was brilliant, informative and inspiring, which further fuelled my desire to work for NATS.

I’ve been with NATS for two months so far and have already been working on a project which involves the implementation of a first of type 3D Surveillance Radar to mitigate against the impact of new wind farms. I have also been working on an electrical infrastructure project under the technical sustainment and surveillance team, both of which I am very passionate about as I am keen to play my part in making aviation more sustainable.

I personally love that there is a strong sense of working as part of a team in NATS. The company culture is great and one of which you can rely on for unlimited support. There is so much to learn and NATS really embrace the idea that learning something new every day is the key to development and success in ourselves and the company’s future.

The amazing thing with NATS is that you are given so many incredible opportunities and I’ve made sure to take advantage of anything which has come my way. I have already been lucky enough to visit the operations room in Swanwick and a visit to Heathrow control tower! These visits have given me a good understanding of the different technologies that are deployed at NATS and within the ATC environment itself.

Early Careers 2022 cohort visiting Heathrow

Due to the nature of the graduate scheme, I will get to work in different business areas through my two years. I believe this will give me the opportunity to try lots of things and discover the work I find the most fulfilling.

Graduate schemes are carefully designed to allow you to squeeze in skills training that allows you to progress quicker than you would otherwise, and in NATS I very much feel I am being supported in my career development. NATS is paying for me to do the relevant professional qualification alongside the projects I am working on, which works to both their favour and my own. On top of that, I have quite a few mentors and work buddies who are always on hand to help me when I need it.

My advice for anyone who wants to be a part on the next graduate intake is to prepare as thoroughly as possible. Securing a graduate scheme is a combination of hard work, tailored application processes and focused interview skills so really make sure you show your passion for the position and give evidence by talking about your experience.

Applications for the 2023 Early Careers intake are open until Wednesday 30 November so make sure to apply soon if you’re interested!


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Robin Fortune

Wow what a interesting in-depth interview


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