Helping young people reach for the stars

As the leading mobile satellite communications company for over four decades, Inmarsat relies on attracting the best talent to keep at the forefront of the industry.

To inspire the technical pioneers of the future, and demonstrate the value of studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and university, we host a busy calendar of early careers events every year.

“At Inmarsat we take a holistic approach to early careers, encompassing everything from STEM outreach programmes designed to engage school pupils as young as five, to formal development including work experience, internships, graduate and apprenticeship programmes,” explained Natasha Dillon, Inmarsat’s Chief People Officer.

“We have also worked hard on quality, structure and standards to ensure every individual who engages with us through one of our programmes has an enriching experience and gains real insight into the exciting world of technology.

“Whilst our goal is to inspire future generations of space engineers and technologists and help build a talent pipeline for Inmarsat, we are equally driven by a desire to promote STEM-based careers on behalf of UK business more broadly and help young people find careers they are passionate about – I feel incredibly privileged to be able to play a role in that.”

Schoolchildren at Inmarsat offices taking part in activities Schoolchildren at Inmarsat offices taking part in activities

In 2019 alone, Inmarsat invited over 1,000 young people into our Silicon Roundabout, London headquarters to find out more about satellites and space, with volunteer members of staff also visiting a number of schools to run workshops, give talks or attend assemblies. Young children have taken their first steps in engineering by helping to build and launch a rocket and design a spacecraft. For secondary school students, there’s the opportunity to visit the Network Operations Centre and Satellite Control Centre – the nerve centre of our business, making sure we always keep our customers online – and try out our maritime simulator, designed to support real-life search and rescue (SAR) operations.

We run similar days for uniformed groups including Girlguiding and, as part of Inmarsat’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, we also welcome military cadet units. At one such weekend event last month, 150 cadets worked with and heard from Inmarsat leaders including Mike Carter, Inmarsat Enterprise President, and Tara Maclachlan, Vice President of Industrial IoT Strategy – both Armed Forces veterans.

Cadets at Inmarsat's offices Cadets at Inmarsat's offices

“Encouraging curiosity in young people is such an important thing to do and aligns so well with our culture here at Inmarsat.

“Seeing the concentration, engagement and determination in the cadets that visit us is so rewarding for me personally and is the key reason why I volunteer; rather than feeling like I am taking time out of my weekend I feel like I am putting time into my weekend.”

Tara Maclachlan, Vice President of Industrial IoT Strategy

For teenagers turning their minds to career choice, we offer a work experience programme that gives them a real taste of life in a world-leading global business, with last year’s 117-strong intake given the chance to test our products, analyse data, work on marketing campaigns and spend time with the legal team.

For the past six years, students from the local City and Islington College (joined last year by Central Foundation Boys School) have taken part in our Strategy Challenge, a eight-nine-week programme which enables students to gain invaluable knowledge from our experts and research their ideas. To date, candidates have investigated topics including the future of aviation connectivity; how to address the digital divide in less developed parts of the world; and satellite connectivity’s role in disaster relief. From 2020, the Strategy Challenge will be going virtual, enabling schools from all over the UK to apply to take part.

Our HQ’s location in central London also gives us the opportunity to take the STEM message out into socially disadvantaged areas, with employee mentors helping individual students and the company partnering with a local girls’ secondary school.

As part of this year’s British Science Week (6-15 March), we will be running a whole day of STEM activities across all year groups at a school in Deptford reaching nearly 300 children.

Schoolchildren at one of our Strategy Challenges Schoolchildren at one of our Strategy Challenges

“Insightful and inspiring. Great to hear some of the leaders in the business too and to be able to network with them. It showed me they were interested in what we had to offer Inmarsat.”

Graduate event attendee

For university students, we offer nine-week summer internships and three to 12-month paid work placements for specific projects.

Following university, STEM students can apply for our two-year Technology and Engineering Graduate Programme, which offers four rotational placements across the business and a permanent job at the end of it.

Students getting a tour of our Network Operations Centre Students getting a tour of our Network Operations Centre

Our Finance and Sales Programmes last from two to five years in duration and support both school leavers and graduates to build foundation skills and gain qualifications in areas of specialism. We also have taken school leavers into Marketing, IT and HR positions offering development opportunities via apprenticeship programmes. Alex Harding joined the Technology and Engineering Graduate Programme in 2017 after completing his Master’s at the International Space University (ISU) in France, which included a three-month internship at Inmarsat.

“I hadn’t really come across Inmarsat before ISU but I really enjoyed my internship in spectrum engineering so I was interested to find out about the graduate programme,” he said.

“My final rotation was in Advanced Concept and Technologies, which was my favourite, so I was really lucky that there was a vacancy in the team when I completed it. I’m now in a permanent role and it’s going really well.”

For more information, visit the early careers section of our careers website.