Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology
2 months ago

Business Area:

Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology (ADS&T)

What qualification are you working towards?

Degree Apprenticeship in BSc Digital and Technology Solutions (IT Consultant pathway)

What made you decide to pursue an apprenticeship?

When I left school, I had plans to go to university but was uncertain about what I wanted to study. I knew I didn't want to leave education. However, I was also curious about the world of work and getting my 'foot in the door', so I started looking into apprenticeships. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about apprenticeships, like they’re for people with no other options. In truth, there are so many exciting apprenticeships across the disciplines, from Aerospace Engineering to Zoology, so there really is something for everyone.

What came as the biggest surprise when you moved from education to the world of work?

My apprenticeship at AtkinsRéalis was my third one. So, compared to other apprentices, my transition was pretty smooth as I had previously worked in an office environment. When I first went into work, I remember feeling daunted and thinking, I'm now in the 'real world.' I suddenly felt like I had all this responsibility on my shoulders. But, AtkinsRéalis's environment has been welcoming and supportive. I get to work on a great variety of projects, so I'm excited to encounter new challenges every day.

What Social Value activities have you been involved with at AtkinsRéalis?

I was a founding member of our Auditory Impairments Employee Community Group, which supports staff with hearing and auditory impairments. I'm also involved in developing the Young Professional of the Month (YPotM) Scheme, helping to refine the scheme to celebrate our young professionals in ADS&T.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for an apprenticeship?

Firstly, it goes without saying that you should do your research into the companies you're applying for. Ensure you know the organization's values, mission, purpose, and current goals.

Secondly, look at existing apprenticeship vacancies to see what academic requirements they are looking for in a candidate. For example, many STEM-related apprenticeships require Maths and Physics at A Level (or equivalent).

Don't be afraid to apply somewhere if you don't meet all the requirements. The employers will look at your application as a whole and may see other unique qualities in you that they are after. Even if you get rejected from an application, reach out to the employer and ask for feedback, as there may be something in your application you can improve on for next time.

Conversely, one good thing about apprenticeships is that there is no upper age limit. I applied for this degree apprenticeship four years after leaving school and thought that might have worked against me. But, I've been welcomed onto the programme and treated no differently than my colleagues.

What are you most proud of achieving?

At AtkinsRéalis, we’re supported to pursue our interests, and I’m a firm advocate for apprenticeships. Over the last year, I've won four apprenticeship-related awards for my advocacy, one of which was at a regional level.

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