At FUJIFILM Ink Solutions Group we have a long history of sponsoring degrees for employees who want to advance their careers. We offer employees across our sites in Broadstairs and Cambridge in the UK the chance to apply for a coveted company-sponsored degree awarded by the University of Greenwich.
When senior laboratory technician Francesca Wade graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering Technology, she became one of only a few at the Broadstairs site with an engineering degree. “I had A-levels in science, and I was looking at science roles. I wanted to find a job in science. During the interview at Broadstairs, they mentioned the company-sponsored degree programme”, Francesca says. The employer-sponsored degree programme was one of the reasons Francesca joined the company in 2016.
It usually takes five years for employees at Fujifilm to complete their company-sponsored degree courses. Some who arrive at the company with GCSEs are also offered the chance to do A-level equivalents such as a BTEC for two years before going on to the degree.
Francesca says: “The company had faith that I would work as hard as possible, so when they invested that money in me, they had no fear. There are long nights, lots of essay writing and calculating, and people pull out because it’s too much for them. But I’d only been a year out of education, so I was in the right mindset. Also, my colleagues, family and partner were always supportive. One colleague helped me with my study on filtration, which is part of what we do here.”
Francesca took a Foundation degree in engineering in the first three years, essentially a steppingstone for the final two-year bachelor’s degree. She earned a Distinction in the foundation and a First in the bachelor’s, achieving 99% in two exams and Firsts in all of them. She also won The Faculty of Engineering and Science Prize for Best Overall Performance Final stage – technology-related programmes.
Now Francesca is looking to progress her career in inkjet in a direction to maximise the combination of her chemistry experience and engineering qualification.