My route into engineering

By Steph Holland, ILS Technician/Technical Author at Pearson Engineering Ltd


Profile picture of Steph Holland

Academic Path: I was always bright and keen at school, attaining 11 As at GCSE, going on to study Product Design, French and English Literature at A-Level. Although I completed my A-Levels and secured a place at Dundee university to study Architecture, I unfortunately fell ill and was unable to take up my place. That’s when I decided to take the apprenticeship route into my career, a great opportunity to start earning whilst learning.


Career Path: As I was interested in Engineering, I was lucky enough to start my career working at an Oil and Gas company as an Apprentice, I then worked within the Engineering and Construction sectors in various design, quality and documentation management roles – building my experience, knowledge and confidence. After completing my apprenticeship, I decided I wanted to do a degree in Engineering and completed this with The Open university over 6 years whilst working full-time.


Current Role: In my current role, I spend most of my time as a Technical Author. This means I create the user manuals that get delivered alongside our hardware. To create these, I use a variety of software and the hardware itself, to obtain the source knowledge and understanding I need to be able to succinctly write about the product. Once a structure for the manual is in place, I can then edit as applicable. I enjoy marking up CAD models for our Illustrator so he can create the best figures to explain text instructions. I also enjoy editing in terms of grammar, spelling, layout and context.


I have recently completed my Technical Authorship Diploma which has allowed me to learn a lot more about the capabilities of my role and solidify existing skills.


The industry can be difficult at times and has its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh them. I’m lucky to be a STEM Ambassador and enjoy encouraging the next generation of Engineering talent to explore their options for the future. Hopefully I can show them, that they don’t always have to take the conventional route to get where they want to be in any career. There is no RIGHT way and there is NO PRESSURE to get there quickly!