How guiding started my career

Ellie is a Junior Engineer working in the Testing Labs at DePuy Synthes

22 March 2022

What does engineering and guiding have in common? The skills Ellie learnt from guiding has helped shape her career today.

Ellie is a Junior Engineer working in the Testing Labs at DePuy Synthes, one of our partners, and was a Brownie, Guide and Ranger. DePuy Synthes make hip and knee replacements, as well as surgical tools.

'So many of the experiences I had in guiding helped me get to where I am today,' says Ellie. 'Working towards badges such as bushcraft, costume making and cooking allowed me to be "hands-on building and making", without realising this shaped my love for practical working. Now I couldn’t imagine a job without some element of practical hands-on work.'

Skills in guiding and engineering

'One of my favourite memories as a Guide was fundraising and planning a trip with my unit to visit the world centre, Our Chalet, in Switzerland. This helped me gain so many skills that I use all the time in my everyday life. Skills such as working as a team, using creativity to come up with lots of different ways to fundraise, learning to budget, calculating the costs of the trip and using organisation skills to plan timings and days of our activities.

'I also use these skills in my job. A big part of engineering is problem solving. Things don’t always go perfectly first time so it’s really important to be able to look at a problem and find a few different solutions to fix it. Using your creativity can often help with thinking outside of the box for solutions. Creativity is also a useful skill to have as often the best way to explain inventions and ideas to others is through drawings, sketches or by making models.

'Good communication is important in most careers but particularly in engineering as you may come up with the best invention, but you need to be able to communicate your ideas to the rest of your team. You may not have all of the skills needed to make your invention so you need to work together and use each other’s strengths and skills to create the best solution.

'The activities and experiences you have within Girlguiding helps you develop these skills, and more!'

The Brownie Inventing badge

DePuy Synthes sponsor the Brownie Inventing badge. What is Ellie’s advice for Brownies completing the badge?

'Let your imagination go wild and write down or draw as many different ideas as you can to start with. It’s easier to start with lots of ideas and then narrow them down to the ones you think are the best and most practical to make. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help, sometimes you can have an idea but aren’t too sure where’s best to start with making and a fresh pair of eyes might be just what is needed to get going.'


Have a look at other ways you can help Brownies do their Inventing badge by reading our Can you invent something for an animal? blog or Have you got what it takes to become an inventor? blog.