1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work within the Purchasing and Commercial team, approving suppliers, engaging with suppliers for quotations and approval paperwork, creating non-disclosure agreements, offer letters and price and cash sheets. I also help gain the information and make business cases for different bids and projects. I spend a lot of time interacting with colleagues, either for gaining information and parts that I need to create documentation, such as asking colleagues for estimates so that I can feed them into a price and cash sheet, or via email/ phone to discuss different customer needs and bid work. Working within the purchasing team I am also involved in a lot of external communication with suppliers, gaining quotes or asking them for additional information about their products. I also spend time talking to customers, usually regarding offer letter I have sent out or contract requirements. I am responsible for keeping several tracking spread sheets up to date and booking my time to the different projects i am working on.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am working towards my Business Administration Level 3 qualification which has provided me with examination skills as well as improving my online based typing and English skills. We do different in house workshops, these include: negotiation training, DEFCON training, VA approval, bribery and corruption etc. As an apprentice I have attended two, week long Outward Bound courses which improve teambuilding, leadership and communication skills. I have learnt the skill of how to structure different types of communication to different stakeholders, how to write letters, how to professionally speak to internal and external customers.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy doing the work I have been given in all the departments I have worked with. I find it rewarding, interesting and also enjoyable. Working as part of different departments gave me an insight into how well everyone gets on within their teams which makes it easy to fit in and feel welcome. This programme has gone above and beyond my expectations in terms of the work I’ve been carrying out as well as the opportunities I’ve been given.
4. How valued do you feel by Thales?
I have been given so many opportunities to do so many different things, helped by very welcoming people who have made me feel very valued. I also see where work I have done has helped the business and colleagues, which makes me feel like a valued member of the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I was sent many e-mails and documents before I had started to ensure I knew exactly what the job entailed and what I would be doing on my first day. I feel like the programme is structered and organised well with specific days to attend college and a clear two year plan.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I am Studying a Business Administration Level 3 course at Bridgwater College. This involves attending college and doing work on an online portfolio. I have an assessor that comes to my workplace around once and month to help with the progress of my college work and another assessor who comes once every three months to see how I am getting on and to get feedback from my colleagues. This makes me feel extremely supported as I know exactly who to go to if I need help with anything.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel extremely supported at work, this stems from the fact that as well as a Line Manager and a Team Leader I also have a Mentor and Apprentice Manager. This means if I have any queries about anything there is always someone to talk to.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Very Well, my salary covers the cost of my journey to and from work as well as trips to college; it covers rent and all my bills. The salary I am provided with also covers any social costs I incur.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many opportunities outside of work; these include things like Christmas meals/ parties, Graduate and Apprentice events and a Thales Social Club. Thales both offers and encourages everyone to take up these opportunities.
9. Would you recommend Thales to a friend?
I really enjoy coming to work, Thales have provided me with so many opportunities and different events to take part in. It’s a really fascinating company to work for as well as being in a great location with a range of different job roles to be considered.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thales?
I would say make sure you research the company, especially the sector you are applying to work in. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer as well as looking up commonly asked interview questions so you can think about your answers beforehand. Be keen and stay motivated.