THE sky's the limit for a student whose career supporting Britain's frontline defence is about to take off.
Nikita Archdale-Holt is set to leave her home and the family bakery business in Moorends after her A levels to spend the next six years in Cyprus with the Royal Air Force.
The Trinity Academy student cannot be told exactly what her job as an intelligence analyst will involve until she has passed all her tests, but she does know she will be monitoring airspace and working alongside drone operators.
It is expected that she will also come into contact with M15 and M16 intelligence services.
"I'm really excited, I can't wait," said Nikita, who got just two questions out of 240 wrong in a challenging, timed intelligence test she had to complete to gain her place.
"The questions involved decoding, mechanics and engineering. It was high pressure as it was against the clock and I thought I hadn't done well, but they told me it was one of the highest scores they'd seen in years," she said.
Military life seems to fit perfectly with Nikita's dedication to her school work, but it became a career choice only recently.
"I wanted to be a surgeon and although I'm good at physics, my maths wasn't good enough. I still wanted to help people so I was aiming towards a career as a social worker until my uncle joined the navy a couple of years ago and said it was great and that it would suit me.
"I like discipline and routine. I like getting up early and keeping busy all the time until I go to bed. I'm strict about getting my school work done so I think life in the RAF will be good for me.
"I didn't like the idea of the unstructured life at university. My dad wasn't sure at first because I wasn't following the academic route, but I will still be able to do a degree in the RAF while doing a really interesting job."
She has already been offered training to work through the ranks, but will postpone it for two years.
"I want to get a grounding first and get a really good understanding of the different roles. I wouldn't want to ask someone to do a job I hadn't done or didn't know myself, so I think that will stand me in good stead later," said Nikita.
The 17-year-old works as a swimming teacher and lifeguard at Thorne Leisure Centre in her spare time, and the RAF have already said they would like her to lifeguard at the swimming pool at their base in Akrotiri, in Cyprus.
Currently working towards A levels in sociology and health and social care, Nikita added: "Although I won't have a career caring for people, I do feel that I will be helping to protect the country and keeping people safe."