Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Rachel Bennett

Senior Engineer: Rolls-Royce

Rachel Bennett graduated with a degree in Psychology with Ergonomics in 2011. Here Rachel discusses her time at Loughborough, her year in industry and career with Rolls-Royce.

Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?

Loughborough University is the only university in the UK to offer an undergraduate degree on the subject matter of Ergonomics. I had been considering completing a degree in Psychology instead but the range and quality of the course content offered on the Ergonomics with Psychology course convinced me to apply to that course instead.

What attracted you to Loughborough and your department in the first place?

Nearly every university offers Psychology as an undergraduate course so I viewed a number of universities when deciding which to apply to. However, only Loughborough University gave me that ‘being at home’ feeling, I think largely because of it being a campus university with lots of green spaces.

As Loughborough is a campus with a great town located close by, I always felt completely safe both on and off campus. It always meant that friends were close by even after they moved out of halls, and the amenities were handily located for walking back or grabbing the campus bus.

On the Open Day I attended, my department was full of enthused lecturers who evidently enjoyed being at Loughborough University and the job they did or research they completed, so they made it an easy choice.

What were your favourite moments at University?

University was full of opportunities to make friends and so my most memorable moments at Loughborough are times with friends; whether that was at summer balls, nights out at the Union, or just relaxing in halls with my flatmates.

What did you think of the teaching quality?

The lecturers and support staff I interacted with whilst at Loughborough University were great and always happy to support, either on the work I was completing or questions about life post-university. The Ergonomic labs at Loughborough are amazing in terms of what they offer for practical research; for example the ability to experience arctic temperatures or the atmospheric changes at the top of Mount Everest!

How did the course help you get to where you are today?

I completed a placement year with Rolls-Royce and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I would absolutely recommend to anyone that they complete a placement year as it gives you valuable experience which every employer is looking for.

What did you think of the social atmosphere and activities?

I was involved with a number of activities within my hall. There is a really strong identity for each hall and fierce competition when it comes to any sort of competition between the halls, especially the Sing Off during Freshers’ Week!

The strong community spirit and social atmosphere within my hall (Falk Egg!) meant that I chose to stay in halls for the three years I was studying on campus for.

Loughborough offers lots of social opportunities, but the many green spaces around campus also meant that if you fancied a quiet wander then you were easily able to have time to yourself.

What have been the ‘wow’ moments and milestones on your career journey so far?

Gaining a well-paid job straight from University only a few years post-recession was definitely a ‘wow’ moment! In terms of milestones, my promotions meant that I became a Senior Engineer at a comparatively young age and I have been recognised on the Rolls-Royce High Potential Scheme.

How did you come to work at Rolls Royce? What has been your career path to date?

I completed my placement year with the Rolls-Royce Human Factors Team in 2009-2010 and was offered a job by my then-boss to return as soon as possible. I returned in 2011 into the Human Factors Team and gained my first promotion in 2012. Following further training and a career change into Safety in 2015, I received my second promotion in January 2016 and am now a Senior Engineer within Rolls-Royce.

Do you think Loughborough University inspired you?

One of the most popular songs at the end of a night at the Union is ‘Loughborough walk on water’ - and that is true of everyone who attends Loughborough; from the amazing athletes who have represented the country to the equally brilliant engineers and product designers who have created products we use every day. That attitude of being the best runs throughout Loughborough and is an attitude I still carry now.

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