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Former Stowupland High School student restarts engineering career with Leonardo

A former Stowupland High School pupil, who grew up in Stowmarket is encouraging people to keep applying for job roles, even if they face a break in their chosen career.

Adam Smith, 31, is speaking from experience, after leaving high school in Suffolk, he studied engineering at university: then got a job at a major aerospace company.

However in February 2020, he was made redundant and soon found himself job hunting in the midst of a pandemic.

Adam Smith, studied at Stowupland High School and grew up in Stowmarket. Picture: Leonardo
Adam Smith, studied at Stowupland High School and grew up in Stowmarket. Picture: Leonardo

Mr Smith, who now lives in Hampshire, said: "It was difficult, as the timing of the pandemic coupled with the lay-off meant there was a frenzy of job hunting and lots of people out of work looking for the same types of roles.

"At the same time companies were busy scrambling to adapt to remote working and Covid protocols, so it was tough applying for jobs when you wouldn’t hear anything back, in some cases for several months."

After being made redundant again, from an electronics retail company, Mr Smith saw Leonardo engineering vacancies advertised through STEM Returners, an organisation designed to support skilled professionals.

Since completing his initial 12-week STEM Returners programme at Leonardo, Mr Smith has gone on to become a full time permanent employee at the aerospace engineering company.

Giving advice to job hunters in a similar position, he said: "Keep applying for jobs no matter how tired or fed up you may feel and don’t let negative feedback deter you.

"Try to pull your feelings to one side and look at a practical level at the skills and experience you have to offer.

"It was a while before I looked at that the STEM Returners route and I wish I had considered it sooner."

He added:" Talk to people and don’t rely solely on online applications."