1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to work within a Cyber Security environment as part of an office that delivers IT-related security solutions for a range of corporate clients. I work in the triaging of technical security alerts, involving networks and severs, by interacting with a range of computer platforms but also a large team of colleagues.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt new skills in network traffic analysis, malware analysis and computer forensics, in addition to developing skills already held in server and network maintenance and open source investigating.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The company as a whole is diverse, offers lots of opportunities and has a culture of hard working. The scheme met my expectations from what the company name had to offer, but could have been structured better on a local level for the most effective training.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
Internal awards and college awards are just one example of the recognition of apprentices, in addition to a large variety of comments from managers and colleagues on a local and business-wide level. Furthermore they are keen to value your input and work on real-world, large-scale projects which have a real impact on the world around us.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of the programme could have been better, rotations around departments began with structure but this was weakened due to other commitments from the person in charge, which left some people in limbo. Training on a local level, professionally, is limited but available in some cases dependant upon need. Support however has always been available if required.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The apprenticeship tutor has been brilliant in support, meeting regularly and ensuring that all concerns are met with feedback and support. The college as a whole however (delivering the Foundation Degree) was very poor in it's support, often work would go un-marked for longer periods than agreed, and when feedback was raised it was met with a negative attitude rather than a tone of optimism for improvement. As such that brings the overall rating down.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
On a local level, within my team, support has been brilliant which made up for gaps in other areas. The employer is keen to let me do further development opportunities, and has provided funding in such cases. From a welfare/development point of view support here has been good also, with regular check-ins.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Although I am not fully sure the wage is competitive for other schemes across the industry at this level, the salary was enough to cover living at home, travel and a lifestyle. It was suited to the location, however could have been brought into line with other apprenticeship offerings across our company and others.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes, company events are frequent within my team and offer a good bonding/networking platform. As a team of apprentices we are also involved in outside-work activities such as sports and coding challenges, all of which we usually receive student discounts for.
9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Large organisation with many opportunities to move around, develop and grow your understanding. Apprenticeships are well established across BAE and although I worked in a smaller part of the business, all the links are available to develop into other areas both during and post apprenticeship.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *
Be prepared for a tough assessment day, it becomes apparent how many people actually apply for the schemes offered as you develop in the company, so do your research before going on the day. Remember where the company sits and the industries it contributes to, and try find where you want to go in the company before you join so that you can chase down the right links if successful.
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