Name: Stephanie Hobeika

University: University of Bath

Course: Integrated Design Engineering Meng

Role: Plant Quality Industrial Placement

As Bentley embarks on its journey to become the most diverse luxury car company and targets sustainable luxury mobility leadership, meet Bentley Motors’ Stephanie Hobeika, Inspiring the next generation of women into engineering.

What inspired you to pursue a career in design engineering?

I have always been very academic but also really enjoyed art such as painting and drawing. I believe design engineering combines them very well. It is a balance between innovation, technology, and creativity.

What made you choose an industrial placement at Bentley Motors?

In my second year of university, I applied to a significant number of industrial placements across the UK. However, while speaking to older students and lecturers, it was clear that Bentley offers a supportive environment for students, practical learning, as well as industry exposure. 

The unique aspect of everything at Bentley being on site in Crewe opens the opportunity of exploring different parts of the business. This has allowed me to build connections in different areas.

Bentley also works closely with other brands in the VW Group which allows students to get insights into companies all over the world.

Could you share your experience of what being an Industrial Placement student at Bentley is like?

An Industrial Placement year at Bentley is all about the student. My manager and the dedicated Early Careers Team have always made sure that I have opportunities to develop my abilities and skills. I have seen a huge difference in my confidence from the day I entered Bentley to now. This year has been very rewarding, whether that is from the skills I have developed or the work that I have produced.

The team has been very welcoming and always there if I need help. I feel like I am a valuable member of the team and have been trusted with responsibilities to work towards the department’s goals.

How did you find it settling into your role as an Industrial Placement at Bentley?

I feel like all placement students found joining Bentley a bit of an adjustment from university. Nevertheless, my manager and the Early Careers team made us feel very welcome and made it clear that this is a year for us to learn which made me feel less anxious and more excited for what was to come.

In the first week we had an induction with all the other students. We spent the morning with the Early Careers team and the afternoons with our managers with a handover from the previous Industrial Placements.

Everyone I have met has been very welcoming and supportive and great at helping me settle in and learn.  

What aspects of your experiences at Bentley do you think will be the most transferable to your career and going back to university?

I feel like an Industrial Placement year equips students with important soft skills that they would benefit from in every aspect of life. I feel like my confidence and time management skills have improved significantly. I am also able to communicate effectively and have improved at making better connections when meeting new people.

A lot of teamwork, project management, budgeting, and business planning takes place at Bentley. These skills are crucial when working in any industry and getting a taste of what it’s like while still a student will be very beneficial when I got back to university and for my career.

How does Bentley support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for women in engineering?

Bentley is dedicated to boosting the representation of women in engineering and aspires to be the most diverse luxury car company. It is truly inspiring to witness the collective effort toward this goal. We regularly hold speed networking sessions and team meetings to share the latest insights from various employers and sectors. I am thrilled to be part of a company that is passionately committed to enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for your future career in engineering?

I really enjoy planning and organising technical projects and would like to progress and develop myself to be a team leader. Either of a big project such as building a new car in an organisation similar to Bentley or maybe a leader in motorsport.  

Any advice for students looking to apply for a placement or graduate role at Bentley?

I would encourage everyone to apply. I have found that it is a very welcoming environment and my manager has been very supportive in my development. As part of the early careers program, I am not expected to know everything, I am expected to have the motivation and will to learn and further my development which is exactly what I need at the start of my career.