1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am part of the Project Control Foundation Scheme at BAE and working towards a Higher Apprenticeship, Foundation Degree and in the final 2 years a Honours Degree in Project Management. Currently I am working as a project controller 4 days a week on a project with 1 day a week studying. The placements are 1 year long and have invovled many tasks including, managing schedules, risk manaagement, bidding, reviews etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Everything that I have learnt as a project controller is/was new to me. I have learnt a lot of new skills in a year, more than I ever thought was possible.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Whilst balancing the studying and working 4 days a week is tough at times, i am thoroughly enjoying my experience on the scheme. Any degree program is tough and i knew that i had to put in the hours to achieve the qualifications whilst working. When i look at the programme on a higher level at the differnet things i have experienced at BAE, i really am enjoying it and learning a lot. The projects that we work as part of the day job are mindblowing and the prospect of project managing a project in the future really motivates me to be successful.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
BAE always make me feel valued and it is very clear that as a company they are keen on taking on young people and developing us through on the job training and qualifications. I have attended some high profile BAE conferences which made me feel valued and really emphasised the importance of young people coming into the business and the role we play in the future of the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme has been running for over 10 years. However it is new to the area/business unit that I am in - i am part of the first cohort down south. Whilst occasionally it has had its challenges, especially with the tutors travelling from up north, on the whole the programme is very well structured and has been a success so far in my opinion.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training providers support is mainly from a distant as they are based up north where as the scheme is based down south. However, i do not feel like this has been a barrier to recieving support. Whilst i do not feel connected to the college that we are apart of, the tutors are great and if i had any problems or wanted some support then i know that they would be more than willing to help me, either at the time or when they come down to tutor us.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from the employer is good. However, occasionally there can be conflict between working full time and college work especially when the full time role involves a lot of hours that i simply cannot give as i need time to work on my studies. Saying that, as long as you flag it up rather than suffer in silence it can easily be resolved by speaking to the right people adn coming to a solution. Which in my case is what happend. On the whole the support from the employer is good however improvement can be made so that all line managers understand the studying commitments and how much time it take up.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For me the salary is great whilst im living at home with minimal outgoings. 6 monthly pay rises based on performance motivate me to achieve.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are opportunities outside work to do various activities and supporting events however personally i have found this difficult due to the studying commitments.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
To get your education paid for, 5 years on the job training and experience and a competitive wage is a no brianer for anyone applying for an apprenticeship. I strongly reccommend anyone that has an interest in project management to apply for this scheme.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
I would read around Project Management in projects and know what project control is and the basics if possible. Show how you are interested in project managment and give a scenario as to where the interest came from. Read a bit around the company and its projects.
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