People & Careers Channel

Presented by: Student Motorsport

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JP Latham


People & Careers Channel

Discuss your career progression, seek advice on your next steps and how to make the most of opportunities. Just started a job? Share your pride with the network!

People & Careers Channel

Discuss your career progression, seek advice on your next steps and how to make the most of opportunities. Just started a job? Share your pride with the network!

Review: Jennie Gow’s ‘you want to work in Motorsport’ webinar

Posted by: JP2020 - Posted: May 26, 2021

Here’s a round-up of the ‘top takeaways’ and key points from this morning’s insightful careers webinar hosted by the fantastic Jennie Gow.  With key speakers from Mercedes and Williams F1 HR Departments (the people that assess your CVs!), there were plenty of great tips and encouraging words.

YouTube link: 

Key Questions:

1. How can I get into F1?

– It’s hard to get into motorsport as the competition is high and it is a relatively small industry with 1000 plus applicants per job in F1.

2. Is motorsport recruitment becoming more diverse?

– Yes, it’s no longer just about your education, technical ability, or where you come from, it’s about the wider aspects of you.

– No longer focussed on working with elite or particular universities for example.

– There is a far wider view on applicants.

3. The industry is big but teams are relatively small organisations

– F1 teams receive over 30,000 CV per 1/4!
– Do your research
– Do apply and keep applying
– Consider other roles

4. Do I need to go to university to get a job in F1?

– Not necessarily, that is role-specific.
– Yes you would for graduate roles or internships.
– There are other ways in, for example through apprenticeships, via other industries or later in life in your working career.

5. What qualities do you look for in graduates from university?

– Individuality, show more of you on your CV
– Unique qualities
– Your activities
– What makes you stand out?

6. How can I make my CV stand out?

– Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter, what would you look for in someone?
– Remember how important 1st impressions are.
– A good personal statement is vital.
– Be creative, you have so many ‘tools’ at your disposal these days.
– An additional letter should not be underestimated.
– Use technology such as digital links to your career profiles for example.
– Use of colour helps.
– Stick to 2 sides!
– Attention to details is vital, spelling, accuracy, factual!
– Don’t overdo it.

7. Degree v’s Experience?

– No preference really, it’s about demonstrating your abilities and capabilities.
– Not all down to technical knowledge, the human side and factors are just as important – will you fit in?

8. Non-related degrees, is this a problem or a barrier?

– Certainly not, it actually opens up doors for you in other areas perhaps not considered.
– Find your passion and go for it.
– Why not try administrative or support roles to lead you to other opportunities.
– Look at ‘supply chain’ roles which make up a massive part of the wider motorsport industry and F1.
– Consider lower formulas to which you can apply your degree or experience.
– A degree shows determination and that you are able to start and complete something, this is valuable.
– You can consider a job in F1 as a longer-term goal and work through different roles to achieve it.

9. What activities should I do post-study?

– Do something! Be active!
– Pursue your interests which do not have to be F1 related, show passion.
– Technical, non-technical, what drives you?
– Stem activities are always useful.
– Team activities and volunteering, perhaps at your local race track.
– Consider teamwork or project management activities.

10. What are the most required or difficult roles to recruit for?

– Production roles, labour trades
– Team roles (travelling team)
– Marketing
– Factory support
– In particular software or data-based roles are becoming increasingly difficult, with more demand than staff supply.

11. Social media, do you look at my profile?

– In the main no, perhaps LinkedIn as that is relevant.
– Maybe as you get to the latter stages of securing a role (shortlisting) so be mindful.

12. What are your steps to a job internally?

– You apply
– We read your CV/Covering letters
– Rejection stage
– We start to test applicants with a series of online activities/assessments.
– Telephone interview
– In-person interviews
– 1-2 days in the assessment centre – to get to know each other.

Words of wisdom (Well put Jennie!)

– Keep applying, trying and do not give up!
– Go easy on yourself there are 100’s or 1000’s of applicants.
– You are valued!
– Apply to relevant jobs
– It’s not all about technical ability or qualifications.
– Demonstrate passion, motivation, drive and respect.

Thank you to Jennie Gow, the production team and of course Mercedes and Williams Formula 1 team staff for the fantastic insight today.


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