Jennifer Lloyd is an Associate Test Analyst at McLaren Applied. She studied for a degree apprenticeship while working at Visa and gained a BSc in Digital and Technology Solutions. As a test engineer, Jennifer is involved with different projects at McLaren Applied.
“I deal with a lot of hardware and a lot of software testing as well. I thought, obviously McLaren Applied are kind of just working on cars, but we also work on trains, which is obviously a different kind of technology. I work with developers, figuring out bugs, finding fixes and essentially communicating with my team.”
Working at McLaren Applied was not something that happened by accident for Jennifer. Growing up she was a big motorsport fan and seized the opportunity to work at the iconic motorsport-derived brand. “My mom raised me up on motorsports. It was a mixture of Formula 1 and British Touring Cars. When I saw the opportunity, obviously I grabbed it with both hands. I thought: I need this role!”
She got the job, much to her mum’s delight: “When I told my mom, she was over the moon, she was really ecstatic!”
When you follow your dreams sometimes, they don’t always deliver what you expect, but luckily Jennifer wasn’t disappointed when she started working at McLaren Applied. “Everyone is so welcoming here and we’re a pretty diverse bunch. Admittedly, I am the only female in my team, but again, there's that kind of respect that I'm passionate about technology so there's no difference which is quite nice.”
She says the opportunities for growth and learning at McLaren Applied are some of her favourite things about working there. “I've only been here four or five months now and I can see in myself that my confidence is built. So whenever my manager gives me something to do, I will immediately take it on, because I know even if I do have questions, he'll be there to support me and help me with the work.”
Jennifer’s passion for technology started when she was young. “I've been interested in technology ever since I was little. I remember when I was really small, I used to play about with my dad's laptop and everything, just typing on Word.” However, it wasn’t until she got to college that she decided to pursue it as a career.
“I guess the pinpoint of technology passion was college. My teacher at the time, I will never forget her saying: if you can do it, aspire to be that person.”
Jennifer is keen to share her passion for technology with other young women and is a STEM ambassador at McLaren Applied within the Driven Women committee. She will also be one of the women the winner of the Females in Motorsport x McLaren Applied STEM Search competition gets to network with and ask questions at the McLaren Technology Centre in June.
In her field of work, she has often been the only woman in her team. “It's really pushed me to say, right, I'm the only female, how can I not use my gender, but I guess appreciate my gender more, and inspire future generations as well?”
Her advice for young women who are considering a career in a STEM subject is simple. “Don't be scared - if you have the knowledge, if you have the ambition to be within this kind of sector, absolutely 100% go for it.”
She admits that there have been times when it’s been hard and when she’s wondered if she was making the right career choices, especially because she started working when she was only 18 as part of her degree apprenticeship. “I did doubt myself sometimes. I wondered, Is this really what I want to do?... if you're really stuck on that career path and you're a strong individual, then you should obviously 100% stick to it and obviously, not only inspire others, but also inspire yourself.”
Jennifer says that choosing a STEM career, particularly in technology, is a good idea because it will be so important in the future. “Even I've learned about more kind of developed technology and how 5G is transforming the world and everything…if you do choose a STEM career path, I'd say it's definitely the future.”
This article is part of our Females in Motorsport x McLaren Applied STEM Search competition. To apply for a day at the McLaren Technology Centre and mentorship from a woman at McLaren Applied click here.