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SDS Engineers New Digital Career For School Pupil


Like many pupils thinking of leaving school, East Lothian teenager Michael Coleman was unsure about what to do next. So he turned to SDS for help.  

Shereen Dalton, based at the SDS career centre in Musselburgh, spent time and effort to really understand Michael’s strengths, interests and career goals, and this led to him landing on an apprenticeship as the ideal pathway for him.  

Shereen said: “Through initial conversations with Michael, he identified that he was torn between two career options, music performance and software engineering. He also felt 100% sure that he wanted to go to do a university course, but after some thorough research on all his routes and pathways, it became apparent to Michael that there might be other options to consider.

“Once we had fully explored his strengths, and how they could fit into the world of work, he was able to make an informed decision that a job in software development was the best career to pursue, and to do that through an apprenticeship .” 

Shereen 1
I am very grateful for all the great work SDS has done for me, even in my earlier years picking my subjects.
Michael Coleman

Michael Coleman

Apprentice Software Engineer, Leanardo UK

Once Michael knew for definite that’s what he wanted to do, thanks to the insight and the support offered by SDS and Shereen in particular, he successfully applied for a Graduate Apprenticeship role at aerospace and defence company Leonardo UK. This not only allowed him to pursue his chosen career, but also meant he could fulfil his dream of attending university at the same time, all while being paid!  

Michael claimed none of this would have happened if not for the career support provided by SDS.  

“In my final year of Ross High School I didn’t have a firm idea of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. I was faced with many opportunities, but none felt right. So I spoke with Shereen who really helped me understand me, as well as helping me really understand more about all my options and the apprenticeship role that is right for me” he explained.  

“I received full support throughout, from the very first stage of writing my CV to reviewing my application for submission. Now I am a fully qualified Software Engineer with a First Class Honours Degree at Leonardo UK. I also went on to win “Apprentice of the Year” for both Scotland and UK, and it was the support I received throughout my high school years that greatly aided in me getting this role.   

Michael concluded: “I am very grateful for all the great work SDS has done for me, even in my earlier years picking my subjects.”