Melissa Lee, fabricator and welder apprentice at Exyte, aspires to be a strong female role model and encourage the next generation of women to pursue careers in engineering


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Exyte apprentice is a great role model for women engineers

Exyte apprentice is a great role model for women engineers

Melissa Lee is a fabricator and welder apprentice at Exyte. She loves spending time with family and friends, keeping active to relieve stress and always enjoys long walks in beautiful scenery with her dogs. Recently Melissa won a Heating and Ventilation Apprentice of the Year award.

Melissa shares with Where Women Work what her work entails at Exyte, why she loves working with her amazing colleagues, and how she aspires to be a role model and ambassador for women in engineering.

Focusing on goals and career success

Melissa has many admirable qualities, both professionally and personally. She describes herself as a good timekeeper: "I never liked leaving things until the last minute. I am usually very organised and I try to plan ahead - and I'm always prompt for meetings and work. I'm responsible whether that's taking responsibility for my mistakes or being trusted to do certain jobs at work. I make sure that I'm always doing the best I can - and I like to look after myself and others," explains Melissa.

Melissa always remains focused on accomplishing her goals and she's driven to achieving the most she can to become successful in her career. "I take pride in everything I do in work and out of work," says Melissa. Personally, Melissa describes herself as 'very optimistic', whether the environment is positive or challenging. “I refuse to let situations determine the way I am," she says.

Melissa tries to remain cheerful, upbeat and eager in everything she approaches.

She always enjoys learning new things, helping others and showing her enthusiastic and determined nature.

"I'm very dedicated to my learning, my hobbies, family, friends and my work. I don't do anything half-heartedly, I put my all into everything," adds Melissa.

"I'm quite confident and I’m not afraid to approach people," suggests Melissa. "I'm outgoing and don't find it difficult to make conversation with people or engage them."

Overcoming challenges at work

Melissa's day-to-day work at Exyte requires a lot of physical strength and planning. "It's key that I can plan how to do certain jobs. For example, I work with sizes and measurements for metal and need to consider areas and so forth, and if we have sufficient space, or what equipment I need to use,"says Melissa. "I'm mainly using the spot welder in my current job and using either galvanised steel or stainless steel. I make sure on a day-to-day basis that all the tasks I'm undertaking are proceeded with highest safety measures and following procedures."

And it's the physical side of her work at Exyte that Melissa can sometimes find challenging. "In all honesty, working in this environment and doing the job that is required isn’t as easy as everyone might think. Personally, I do struggle sometime with the physical side of work. I think it's my height and I'm a little under average in strength - but I don’t let that stop me or bring me down," she explains. "But at Exyte, there's always support if I need it."

"People always wonder how I can ‘survive’ working in a male dominated environment but all my colleagues are lovely and welcoming. I honestly wouldn’t have asked for much more."

Melissa is committed to finishing her apprenticeship at Exyte and being able to apply the skills and knowledge she has gained. She is also keen to be a strong female role model and ambassador to inspire further generations of young females into her area of work and to introduce them into the engineering world overall.

Being part of one big family

Another challenging part of Melissa's role at Exyte is having to absorb all the different skills, techniques and procedures she needs to utilise. "Experience comes a lot into the working environment. The longer you have to practice something the more natural it becomes."

The best part of Melissa's job, she says, is interacting with different people. "I value and think very highly of my colleagues. I genuinely think that it's amazing how much knowledge and skill they all have. It truly inspires me every day!" comments Melissa. "The people within this organisation are what makes the work culture at Exyte so great. We're like one big family. We all help each other out and support one another. Everyone is very polite and kind, which makes working together so much easier because it's pleasant and enjoyable."

Being a strong female role model and ambassador

Melissa shares some fantastic advice for women wanting to forge a career at Exyte. "Be confident and believe in yourself because that’s what will make success happen. There's no such thing as 'can't' or 'just won't'. There are so many skills and qualities you will find and learn through your work."

"Life is what you make of it. Your future is in your own hands, if you truly want something, you need to fight for it. This is what I want to believe. I do think that anyone can do anything, if you put your mind to it. I once got told, 'it's your mind that's stopping you and telling you that you can't do it' so just believe."

"I'm committed to finishing my apprenticeship and being able to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained over the years to my work. I want to contribute by being a strong female role model and ambassador to further inspire more generations of young females and introduce them into the engineering world."

Join ambitious women like Melissa at Exyte

Exyte is always seeking motivated women with pioneering innovative spirit. 

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