1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Account Specialist - Account management of medium sized, low complexity Engines Accounts. Day to day account management and issue resolution. Pricing, order amending, data analysis, negotiation internally and externally.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes - through my 3 year apprenticeship programme, I completed my NVQ level 3, and BA Hons Business management (Work Based). Internally in my company I was also given the opportunity to participate in around 3-6 courses a year. These included general skills such as Presentation Skills, Hazard Awareness, Mentoring, through to job role specific such as Negotiation skills, pricing analytics. I have also had the opportunity to travel which has enhanced my communication, social and organisational skills
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Very much, the company I work for is well respected and in turn rewards and motivates it's employees in a long term, but popular way. The people that work at the company are keen to see others improve and develop, and are always there to help when required.
4. How valued do you feel by Caterpillar?
Very well valued. The company sponsors all my educational development therefore they have a vested interest in my performance - which translates to them taking an active involvement in reviewing my progress and wanting to know if I require further support. I feel like they are investing in me for the long term, and that makes me feel really valued
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
In the initial stages the programme was confusing and there was limited documented process. However, through our feedback and lessons learnt, gradually the programme became more structured and appropriate which I think has helped other people in earlier stages of the programme
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
During my degree I received as much support as I requested. At times I felt like my tutor was unapproachable, however I believe that I perhaps did not use my tutor for the full benefit.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
A lot. As mentioned in the 'valued' section, my employer took a great deal of interest in my educational and developmental performance as they were financially supporting it. I felt like this was a good level of support without feeling micromanaged
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My educational costs are fully covered by the company, and I found my salary increased greatly over the 3 years I was in the programme - in line with the company's approach to other employees also.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes - the company organises/advertises various social/charity/community events, however as employees we are also encouraged to organise our own team events, and the company has a policy regarding taking paid time off work for charity events.
9a. Would you recommend Caterpillar to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Have thoroughly enjoyed the whole programme and transitioning to the work environment from being at school. For me, it was the perfect solution as opposed to leaving home to go to University, or jumping straight into a career I knew nothing about. This has given me the opportunity to try out a few different business areas, whilst learning and studying, to decide what I truly wanted to do. I think this is more beneficial for Company's also, as it stops employees taking a job, then realising its not what they wanted to do, and either leaving or 'job hopping'
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Caterpillar? *
Be ready for the opportunity to be well sought after, the competition was high when I applied. Show and tell the interviewers why you would bring something new and different to their company, but also prepare why you want to work for them. In regards to the apprenticeship, don't enter into it expecting it to be easy, with nothing hard given to you and you can always rely on 'just being the apprentice', as it's not like that here. You are respected as a true member of staff, but are therefore expected to work to that standard too. Of course you are not expected to know how to do everything or understand everything, you will be in the learning stage for a while, but it's not an easy ride
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