1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a project management higher apprentice. This is a 3 year programme consisting of nine 4month long placements. My current role is in project controls where on a day to day basis I look at the data integrity of the programme and provide metrics from the plan.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned several new soft skills such as people management and self confidence but mainly I have developed my skills on the computer in this placement such as on Microsoft access and excel and powerpoint.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This varies from placement to placement dependant on workload and the team around you. I would say on average only 1/3rd of the placements on my scheme are thoroughly enjoyable however the overall experience of college, placement and stretch work is definitely more enjoyable than I expected.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Again this varies from placement to placement, sometimes you can feel 10/10 valued and sometimes you feel as though you are a burden to the team. Overall I do not feel that the company values as much as standard employees however I do still feel valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Not well. The communication is also not up to scratch. We have been left without a PM manager for several weeks with no other support from the function. We appear to be randomly thrown into placements with no real regard for each individual need for development. Stretch assignments from the function also appear to be randomly allocated again with no regard for individual development. Some placements have no idea what to do with trainees and we are given very "wet" objectives. This could be hugely improved. The good part of the structure of this programme is that we have 3 core placements that we have to go into in order to gain good business knowledge grounding.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Varies from tutor to tutor but overall the support is good and there are other ways to gain support if you do not feel comfortable going to the training provider. I do not have any complaints about this.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Varies between early careers and function manager, and also placement managers. We get lots of support from early careers however I feel they should have a higher impact over our discipline managers. I do not feel supported at all by PM function and therefore am giving a low score for this but this does not reflect on early careers.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Very well and I think that having performance related pay increase is an excellent idea and will be sad to see it removed. I cannot complain about the salary I am on. My only qualm is with being unable to get overtime whenever we want - this is a problem not only if you need to pick up extra money but you get judged for leaving work early because you have got all of your hours in.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There is an early careers community with a social team with several opportunities for socialising and networking. There are also several opportunities for stretch assignments to further develop yourself as a professional.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Good salary, close to home so less travel, shares are excellent, interesting company to work for such as learning about a nuclear submarine, excellent opportunities to make friends and socialise outside of work, half day Fridays.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Prepare to get up early as life starts at around 7:00am every day. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want from work as HR will help you if you don't feel good in your workplace and most managers are willing to develop you as much as you want to.
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