Culture and Values, Diversity & Inclusion, Early Careers, Engineering, Graduate

“We design, engineer, manufacture and market beautiful vehicles. With that comes a real sense of pride for the brand and what we do.”

Megan Howell joined Jaguar Land Rover in 2015 to study for a degree apprenticeship in Engineering. In 2021, Megan’s hard work, determination and commitment were acknowledged when she was awarded a First-Class Bachelor of Engineering degree with honours by the University of Warwick. 

At the start of her professional career as a Cost Engineer and hot on the heels of a listing in the Autocar Great Women in the British car industry 2022 initiative, Megan tells us why Jaguar Land Rover is a great place to work for Black talent.

  1. Why Jaguar Land Rover for Black talent?

Now is a really exciting time for Black talent to join Jaguar Land Rover. The automotive industry is not traditionally known for its diversity; however, Jaguar Land Rover has committed to changing this narrative. Jaguar Land Rover is the first UK car manufacturer to sign the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter and has partnered with a number of other external diversity bodies – most recently BYP. Over the next five years, Jaguar Land Rover’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, championed by our CEO Thierry Bollore, will see the company strive to shape “a culture in which every one of our employees can bring their authentic self to work and reach their full potential”. This will be bolstered by the implementation of progressive policies, benefits and support, along with employee engagement to accelerate progress.

All of these D&I initiatives paired with our global Reimagine strategy see Jaguar Land Rover entering an era of true internal and external transformation. There is a lot of change on the horizon and more opportunity than ever before. For Black talent wanting to be part of that evolution and passionate about becoming trailblazers for upcoming BYPs, I think it’s a great place to be right now.

2. What do you like about working here?

It’s great working on two internationally recognised brands that are pioneering modern luxury. We design, engineer, manufacture and market beautiful vehicles. With that comes a real sense of pride for the brand and what we do.

I like how multi-faceted the company is in terms of the job roles, working environments and experience available. Different functions attract and cultivate different skills, personality types and ideas. It’s great seeing the cross-functional collaboration that happens to deliver an amazing end product every time.  I really enjoy that in my job role, I interface with a lot of these functions.

3. How does the REACH (Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage) network enhance life at Jaguar Land Rover?

The Jaguar Land Rover REACH employee network will be celebrating its 4th birthday this September. The network exists to champion employees from all races and ethnicities to be equally represented and celebrated across Jaguar Land Rover. Racial equality is also a high priority to Jaguar Land Rover senior leaders, with a clear target to increase ethnic representation by 15% across all levels of our business by 2026. Working closely with core stakeholders across the business, the REACH network will be instrumental in creating initiatives to help Jaguar Land Rover achieve this target.

As a member of the committee and Communications Lead, I love that I get to play such an active part in Jaguar Land Rover’s journey toward becoming a more inclusive business. It is a huge amount of work but super rewarding and looking after the comms, branding and marketing activities for the network allows me to use and develop skills in an area that I’m passionate about.

We run four core types of events – Lunch & Learns (to educate and open conversations), Roadshows (to build awareness of REACH and its fundamentals around the business), Mastermind Series (to provide networking and development) and Change Makers (to improve employee work experience). We have a Yammer page and curate a monthly newsletter along with holding events and celebrations for various cultural occasions throughout the year. We have an internal mentorship scheme and also partner with local educational bodies to encourage bringing diverse talent into the business, in addition to actively encouraging the progression of diverse talent.

The REACH network has enhanced my life at Jaguar Land Rover, and I’ve heard the same from many others. I only wish I had known about it when I first joined! However, this is a part of the work we are doing with our Roadshows and partnerships with Early Careers to raise awareness. The sense of unity and reward that comes from being a member of the committee, building it from the ground up and bringing people together is amazing. As a member of REACH, I get to expand my network and meet like-minded people from across the business who want to have a more meaningful experience at work. REACH makes work feel a bit more like home.

4. How does Jaguar Land Rover empower employees?

Where applicable, Jaguar Land Rover had maintained flexibility on hybrid working after the benefits seen on wellbeing when it started during the pandemic.

Our employee-led networks help foster our culture of empowerment. If you just want to clock in, do your hours, and clock out that’s fine – but if you want to push yourself to do more there are chances to get yourself more involved.

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Apprentice, Business Area, Early Careers, Engineering, Home Page, Technology

The key thing I’ve really enjoyed is feeling trusted and valued by my team

“I started my Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at the age of 22 – after studying robotics at Uni. I’ve worked on a number of projects during the programme – including four years in the Safety Team and have been a mentor to younger apprentices. Since finishing my degree, I have now secured a role as a CAD/AVA engineer. This is perfect for me – I love CAD and enjoy problem solving and working out how components integrate logically into our vehicles.

One of the key challenges for me during my apprenticeship was my confidence levels and self-belief. I am a shy and quite self-critical person and over the years with Jaguar Land Rover – through presenting, mentoring, and networking – I have really learnt how to push myself and become a much more confident person. My managers have always understood my personality and supported & guided me throughout the programme.

The key things I’ve really enjoyed is feeling trusted and valued by my team – and being given the freedom to do the work needed. I’ve also really enjoyed mentoring colleagues – it’s great when you see other apprentices develop in their CAD and technical skills and go from strength to strength.

The apprenticeship was the best move I’ve made – you are trusted and get to work on real projects whilst gaining a degree. My only regret – I wish I’d heard about it earlier!”

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Apprentice, Business Area, Early Careers, Engineering, Home Page, People

I’m gaining a high level of experience – it really has been my dream job

‘My father, who is very business minded, encouraged me to apply for an Apprenticeship rather than just go to Uni. It felt like the right thing to so and I applied to Jaguar Land Rover.

From initial application through to the assessment day – the process was efficient. The induction to the company was outstanding – and it was quite surreal to see what the business is working on.

I’m halfway through my Apprenticeship and I’m gaining a high level of experience – it really has been my dream job. Its challenging work and the amount I am learning is amazing – but I’m proud of what I’m achieving.

One of the highlights of my time here has been meeting my team. My supervisor is incredibly supportive, and I feel trusted and respected by everyone. At times I forget I’m an Apprentice. My advice to anyone thinking of applying – be flexible and openminded. There are so many opportunities here if you’ve got the abilities and mindset to succeed.’

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Apprentice, Business Area, Early Careers, Engineering, Home Page, Software

I learn things I wouldn’t be taught in a classroom environment

‘You really do experience the best of both worlds on a Degree Apprenticeship – gaining real industry experience whilst gaining a brilliant qualification.

So far, the programme has been engaging and interesting. People in my team share their knowledge about their roles – and I learn things I wouldn’t be taught in a classroom environment. They share information and skills that allow me to develop the projects and tasks I’m involved in. Giving up their time to do this speaks volumes.

At the moment I’ve been assigned to a programming project so that I can get familiar with the software we use. It’s a great learning curve as I had no knowledge of this area before and have been given the time to research everything, I need to carry out the project effectively.

I’ve realised I’ve got to be really organised on the apprenticeship. When working in the office I can’t forget about my Uni work or assignment deadlines. It’s important to constantly keep on top of things. I’ve also taught myself to be patient and not rush projects as there are going to be so many amazing opportunities throughout the programme.

I’ve had some great support in my first year and have been in the office more that I’d expected – which is great. This year for me is all about settling in and learning from my team. I’m looking forward to getting involved in more projects and placements. The apprenticeship matures you and, being around professionals every day, allows you to develop in a business role much earlier than you would if you are just at Uni. A degree from the University of Warwick, a salary and world class industry experience – what else could you ask for in an apprenticeship’

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Apprentice, Business Area, Early Careers, Engineering, Home Page, Powertrain

I have really enjoyed learning about the business in many different areas

‘I have always been interested in cars and engineering so for me a natural progression from my A-Levels was into an apprenticeship within the car industry and the apprenticeship Jaguar Land Rover offered was by far the best with regards to qualifications and future in the industry.

I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship and learning throughout the business in the many different area’s powertrain offers. I have also enjoyed the training courses I go on which not only help in my day-to-day job role but also give me a wider knowledge base.

Highlights have definitely been working throughout the business and getting to know many of the teams. But from that I would say my highlight has been being included in the Apprentice Rep team for the higher apprentices and being able to be the voice for my cohort.

My advice to anyone applying this year would be to research which apprenticeship avenue you want to go down as there are multiple available and find the right on for you.’

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