Jane Phillips has worked at EDF for over ten years. As Nuclear Island Deputy Programme Director, Hinkley Point C Project, she is part of the senior leadership team of the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Build Project in Somerset. It’s the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK since 1995.
Following a family passion
Jane had an affinity with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at school. And it seems she may have inherited her passion for engineering.
'My father and grandfather both had careers in engineering, and as such I decided to undertake a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester.'
After securing a position on the EDF Nuclear Engineering graduate scheme, Jane has moved from an engineering role at Heysham 1 power station to a leadership role responsible for over 120 staff. Having taken a management role at a coal-fired power station, Jane returned to nuclear after moving to her current position in 2019.
Growing as a business leader
As her career progressed, Jane realised she enjoyed both the leadership and business side of her role, as well as the technical side.
'I also realised that a balanced technical and leadership skill set is quite unique, and therefore there was a good niche for me.
'In order to continue developing and growing as a business leader, I identified that an MBA would be a good option to study topics that fascinate me in a situation that allows me to continue working.'
Established links with the HPC Project, the University of Bath’s reputation and a course structure allowing study alongside full-time work were all factors that motivated Jane to apply for our Executive MBA.
'Finally, the city of Bath is beautiful, and a very easy travelling distance from my home in Bristol.'
A collaborative environment
Jane has enjoyed getting to know her coursemates. As well as making some great connections, the MBA has provided an opportunity to make friends for life.
'In our lectures we have lively debates, sharing of opinions and support for each other’s learning. The collaborative atmosphere is superb, and hearing inputs from a diverse range of backgrounds is fascinating.'
But it isn’t just the social aspect of the course that appeals to Jane. The Executive MBA enables students to incorporate their company’s issues into project work.
'I particularly like that the course material combines academic learning with the opportunity to take the learning directly into the workplace. Assignments have been an excellent balance of demonstrating learning and also problem solving real-life workplace challenges.'
Looking to the future, Jane hopes she can serve as a role model for senior female leadership in technical and engineering work environments.
'I’d like to be able to challenge stereotypes and encourage more girls and young women to join STEM industries and thrive in that environment.'