1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I currently work for Siemens – Energy Management, within the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) team, which is responsible for the communication and monitoring of control signals between substations and wind farms. By working for this team I am constantly involved within Electrical and Electronic Engineering based aspects such as the practical testing of equipment, designing and programming software applications, and using communication systems and networks.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My college education helped me decide to pursue a career in Engineering, as Mathematics and Computer Science both provided challenging and analytical problems. I thought that Electrical Engineering would improve my understanding even further and by working for Siemens I have started to develop a good level of underlying knowledge which would only be enhanced by a degree course. Fortunately I was able to complete a HNC course within the first two years of my Siemens career, which provided me with a perfect learning platform to go further and also possibly attain a degree.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy working for Siemens and more specifically within the SCADA/Control team as the different engineering activities that I complete are all challenging and interesting. I think the culture of this team has a perfect balance and achieves maximum potential between all colleague members because of the targets and goals we achieve individually and as a team. I really enjoy working within the SCADA/Control department and feel it will increase my knowledge greatly, on the whole as an engineer.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
I feel greatly valued by Siemens as an apprentice and as a person as I constantly receive any support that is needed through work colleagues and my manager. I have received external recognition from companies who have supplied us with training programs such as NVQ qualifications and other engineering opportunities.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think the structure of the apprentice program is positive and has a good flow to the learning of each individual apprentice. I started by completing a PEO qualification, then moving onto a HNC qualification, and finally a NVQ qualification. this was done as I was positioned in various teams around the workplace so I was able to have an insight into each department and ultimately pick the SCADA/Control section in which I want to extend my engineering knowledge.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive lots of support from my training provider that includes help and guidance on qualifications such as the NVQ. The training provider, Trafford College, also helped me with qualifications such as the HNC, and they provided a great attitude to teaching the apprentices the different ways on engineering.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive lots of support from my training employer that includes help and guidance on internal engineering activities. The training I have received has provided me with an insight into the role of a SCADA engineer, and the tasks I complete with the help from my colleagues also boost my knowledge throughout the department.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I think the salary I receive reflects the accomplishments that I have achieved as an apprentice. Many companies are not as generous with the salary of an apprentice compared to Siemens, and therefore I am grateful. I think once a degree has been obtained the salary will be increased which seems very fair.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
there are many opportunities to get involved with Siemens that do not take place within work. events such as charity days involve giving up two working days a year to help children learn new engineering ways such as computer coding or electrical engineering. there are many sporting clubs that involve Siemens employees such as football, and also charitable events such as obstacle courses.
9. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?
Siemens provides a fantastic opportunity to learn key engineering skills, gain qualifications and also acquire valuable working experience within the company. Not many companies provide the same opportunity that I have received, and I want to take full advantage of the great learning platform that has been given to me.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?
some tips that I would advise would include: - learn the basic engineering technological terms, including basic formulas and equipment - also be open to receive extra learning, go the extra mile and grasp any opportunity with both hands - don't take the apprenticeship for granted, maximum effort should always be applied to achieve the greatest results.
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