Recent aeronautical graduate lands role at Airbus

Plane in the sky

Goshe Khan is the latest BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering graduate from the university to land an impressive graduate role at Airbus.

Read on to find out about her university experience and what she’s been up to since graduating in July this year.

What attracted you to the University of Salford?

I was on the fence about the entire thing because it is such a male dominated field, but my key motivator was being interested in the aeronautics field and I rationalised that this would purely be for educational purposes. I decided to study at the University of Salford just a week before my course started, and I found it to be so diverse and supportive.

I got to appreciate the culture and immersed myself with people from all around the world with different perspectives, so my opinions and thoughts were always questioned, making me think deeper to understand everyone around me. The lecturers were so interpersonal and down-to-earth as I felt I could talk to them about any issues or if I needed advice. I’ve made lifelong links and still have a great relationship with my peers and lecturers alike, and I know I can go to them for any kind of professional advice. I believe this is what transformed my general interest in the field of engineering into a passion.


A airplane in an airport

Where do you currently work and how did you find out about the role?

I found out through a friend who saw multiple vacancies on Gradcracker. My interest in the finance side of engineering and aeronautics came from a conference I attended in London during my studies. As a Student Associate for the Royal Aeronautical Society, I was able to network with other engineers in the field at events, and this exposed me to the industry in ways I never would’ve imagined. Whilst there, I spoke to an Airbus Apprentice who revealed that there was a great demand for engineers in finance which was synonymous with the other professionals present at the conference. So, I interviewed for the Graduate Cost Engineer role and was successful.

Tell us a little bit about your current role and your day-today responsibilities.

As a graduate, I have a vast variety of responsibilities that encompass all areas of the business as a whole. But focussing on just the Costing aspect, the main duty is to provide estimates for business cases on any kind of project that Airbus works on. A Cost engineer’s job is to produce an estimate that can be used to present a business case to the executive board before a proposal is accepted. This means the project can either get approved or rejected after the concept has been identified, and once a decision is made, the estimate will be reviewed.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects you’ve worked on? And what do you enjoy most about your role?

Since I only started in September, I have not had a lot of time to fully immerse myself in everything. Despite this, I have been involved with many exciting projects. The most exciting thing right now is our ZEROe project which involves creating an aircraft that works towards a more sustainable Aeronautical industry. From day one at Salford, my first ever research piece was to investigate the use of more efficient and sustainable aviation fuel to reduce the impact on the environment, and to now be involved in making this a reality is a dream come true.

I really enjoy the flexibility of it all. I didn’t want to work on one specific domain for my entire career. With costing, every project is completely new, sometimes I’m working on the wing, other times I’m working on the landing gear, the scope is endless. It’s just so varied, and it allows me to get complete exposure to the entire lifecycle of an aircraft which is exactly what I was looking for.


Small helicopters at airbus

How do you feel your course prepared you for your future employment?

My course prepared me for future employment as it gave me the perfect overview of the industry. My modules gave me the building blocks I needed for my work in the industry, it may not be a direct link, but it allows me to keep up with my colleagues and ask the right questions. There are also many skills I have gained from the course that are vital to my work now; for instance, I worked on spreadsheets a lot during my studies, and I am using them now for many of my calculations and analysis’.

My graduate scheme lasts for two years, and I am hoping to continue my journey with them for the foreseeable future. I think the development here is insane; the skills I am developing, and the work environment is perfect to grow my personal and professional competencies. Not to mention the incredible opportunities I am exposed to now; I cannot be grateful enough.

Salford graduate, Goshe Khan graduation with coursemates

What advice would you give to prospective students or those seeking a career in this area?

I’d say to get involved with industry as much as you can by joining institutions and societies outside of university. I’ve already mentioned the Royal Aeronautical Society, but there’s IMECHE and others. Take advantage of the free memberships you can make use of as a student and attend events to build a network, especially if you come from a minority background where you may not have any exposure to engineers etc. I’d also say get involved with Salford Racing and make a good group of friends. It’s so important to have friends who are supportive but also competitive, in a healthy manner of course. I think you really need that solid support network because I was often motivated by the determination of my peers.