Frida Nzaba

If someone told me 10 years ago I would be working for Rolls Royce, I would have asked them, why would I want to work in a dirty garage fixing expensive cars?

In year 10 I realised I genuinely loved engineering. I enjoyed learning about the different machining processes such as turning and milling and the fact that I was able to apply some of these techniques to basically manufacture my coursework. I remember engineering was one of the subjects I always looked forward to because it was fun, practical and contained maths and physics that actually made sense to me.

In year 11, my engineering teacher advertised the amazing apprenticeships available, which were rarely encouraged in my school.
Initially, an apprenticeship was not an option for my family, it was in my parents’ interest that I follow the ‘traditional route’ to higher education. Eventually after months of research and convincing my family, I decided to undertake an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce in 2013.
I completed my apprenticeship and secured my first job in Rolls-Royce Hucknall as the Trent 700 component owner and a computer aided process planner (CAPP) alongside studying for my Mechanical Engineering Degree; I graduated in 2017.

I currently work as a Repair and Overhaul Manufacturing Engineer in Rolls-Royce Plc. This role consists of developing and implementing methods that can be used to repair various components from a jet engine. The main thing I enjoy is the fact that I can go into work and see various jet engines being stripped and assembled ready to dispatch to the customer; this is just simply mind blowing. I am also a board member of the WISE Campaign Young Professionals Board.

In 2019, I founded a non-profit social enterprise with two other great engineers. The enterprise aims to bridge the gap between STEM education and industry globally. I have mentored a dozen of young people, advising them of the options available to them after they finish their GCSEs and promoting them towards carrying out an apprenticeship. I am an advocate for Diversity and Inclusion, this has led to me becoming an active member and STEM lead for the Rolls Royce African and Caribbean Pioneers Network which is an Employee Resource Group within the company. I am also a STEM ambassador for Rolls-Royce and Nottinghamshire.