Ben Wheelton, a student from Repton School in Derbyshire, has been offered the Rolls Royce degree apprenticeship following an intense selection process with the prestigious company.
Rolls Royce, known for its luxury brand vehicles, is a leading innovator in the world of engineering. The company is recognised for developing cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs. The company offers an apprenticeship, which is seen as one of the most competitive in the industry. According to Rolls Royce, the apprenticeship offers the chance for individuals to “gain valuable qualification and impressive experience with a world-leading company – whilst earning a salary at the same time.” Participants work “with world-class engineers and other professionals who are passionate about passing on their experience and helping [others] to build their [future] career.”
Wheelton, who worked at Rolls Royce in the Summer of 2018, was determined to get into a work environment early. His experience at Rolls Royce provided him with valuable direction in what he wanted to pursue in life – he identified that he wanted to apply what he had learned and challenge himself in the real world. Having investigated what a Rolls Royce degree apprenticeship meant, talking to friends and searching the internet, Ben decided to apply.
Ben Wheelton is an excellent student at Repton School. He displays characteristics of determination and modesty. In school he is predicted outstanding grades in his three A levels: Mathematics, Physics and DT. With his spare time, Wheelton enjoys rebuilding motorcycles and working with engines. Both his academic performance and extracurricular activities prepared him for a path towards engineering.
While applying for the degree apprenticeship, Wheelton was challenged in many facets. First and foremost, he was applying against 57,000 other candidates for only 500 Rolls Royce Degree Apprenticeships for commencing 2020. This meant that he had only a 0.87% chance of being selected. However, with a positive mindset and determination, he was prepared for the task.
The application process, according to Wheelton, was difficult. It consisted of two rounds including an online assessment and multiple interview and presentation evaluations.
The first round, which was conducted as an online assessment, comprised of psychometric testing, and numerical and logical reasoning. Wheelton passed this phase and was invited for the interview round.
During the second and final round, Wheelton was challenged to complete a selection of interviews and assessments. The first presentation he delivered was on what his motivation was for applying – this included a personal account on why he wanted to be a part of Rolls Royce, and what qualifications led him there. The second presentation, which included an interview panel as well, was a ten-minute technical presentation. The final assessment was a group task in which candidates were directed to code and guide a robot through a series of obstacles and build a bridge for said robot, all while being faced with financial restraints and time restrictions.
Walking away from the final phase Wheelton reported that he felt that he did a job well done and that when working in the group setting, he naturally took on the position as the group leader. This is an extremely valuable asset that the company strives to see in their apprentices, and his ambition was recognised. Within two days following the interview and presentation phase, Wheelton was offered the position.
Miss Gemma Hill, Head of Design and Technology at Repton School, commented, “The department is incredibly proud of the determination, self-discipline and conscientious effort Ben placed into preparing for the selection process. To have successfully gained a place on one of the country’s most competitive schemes is a testament to his character and capability. Extremely well-done Ben!”
In later interviews, Wheelton contributed his accomplishments in thanks to the direction and support he had through his five years while attending Repton School.
Repton School is a co-educational school located in the village of Repton in South Derbyshire. The school hosts over 600 students aged 13 to 18 years of age. The school is recognized for its strong academic programs and as one of the top sporting schools in the United Kingdom. The school’s goals are what enabled Wheelton to participate in such as competitive atmosphere. From the beginning of his education at Repton, Wheelton was learning to be: globally aware and internationally-minded; intellectually curious, culturally informed and spiritually alive; happy, resilient, robust, self-motivated and confident; socially conscious, politically informed and environmentally aware; technologically fluent; and, committed to excellence in all that he did. This diverse plan for development provided Wheelton with the maturity to apply directly for the internship.
Since his acceptance, Wheelton has provided advice on what others should do to pursue their dreams. He states that people need to “be passionate and well-rounded. It is not just about what grades you achieve.” The accomplishment of Wheelton is setting him on the path to follow other successful and highly notable alum of Repton, including Adrian Newey, Formula One technical director, and Andrew Li, Chief Justice of Hong Kong.