1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The scheme works on a rotational basis, meaning every 6 - 12 months you will move to a different team or business within Siemens. The tasks and responsibilities do vary placement to placement, however from my experience I have found placement managers provide you with a lot of responsibilities bordering on the same as a regular full time employee. The tasks that I have done so far have ranged from processing month end accounts to creating new dashboards to review reports.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
The main educational aspect of the course revolves around working towards your CIMA membership. Due to the value and nature of the CIMA membership, you learn a vast amount of information not just in the financial side but also areas such as Math’s and Law. Further to this other various workshops are put on for the apprentices such as Excel and journal entry lessons. I have also gained a wealth of knowledge from my day to day activities, from using financial tools to seeing how financial decisions can affect the whole business.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The Academy has been very enjoyable, with the work and responsibilities given to me so far being very relevant to my qualification while at the same time not being too much that i have a poor work/life balance. The academy also funds regular meet ups with the other academy students across England, allowing us to socialize with people our own age and talk about our experiences which i find really interesting and nice to communicate with other young people too.
4. How valued do you feel by Siemens?
Within Siemens I feel that my work is valued and is taken seriously, with managers being happy to provide me with projects that will be seen by senior members of the business. Not only this but within team meetings, you are treated as an equal and in turn your ideas and opinions are taken on board allowing you to really make a changes to the business. I find that they value me a lot more then i thought they would when i joined the company mid-2016. I'm happy with how valued i feel within my current role at Siemens.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Since the beginning of the apprenticeship I have been given a plan detailing the teams that I will be working in for the next 12 months, allowing me to have a clear path and in turn goals for the future. As well as this, the apprenticeship is very flexible, whether it regards when you take your exams, the teams you work within and even relocation to another part of the UK if you want to see a different part of Siemens. I would say overall compared to other apprenitceships i have heard about, Siemens is very organised.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider BPP have been fantastic in regards to the support and lessons they have provided for our CIMA studies. The lessons are long however with very enthusiastic and supportive lecturers, the lessons do not drag. As well as face to face support, the reading material and online lectures that they provide are perfect for when you are starting to revise for your exam. Overall i think my training provider is really good with helping me through my exams and helping me move through my studies.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Within Siemens there are a lot of other employees training towards CIMA and there for there is a great support network for anyone that needs assistance when revising or preparing for an exam. From the actual company they provide a lot of study leave with all face to face lessons being taken within a working week, and also 3 days are provided for each exam to be taken off to revise. With personal development monthly meetings are set up with your placement manager, allowing you to discuss ways you can improve.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Although there are other apprenticeships offering a slightly higher entry salary, I feel that the costs covered by Siemens for CIMA and the yearly performance related pay rises means that the overall package is quite good. I can't really complain at my salary too much considering all of my educational studies are paid for by the company at the same time they are also paying me to progress through their company on a yearly basis. Plus i know minimum wage for apprenitces is low anyway.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there are clubs you can join such as the weekly football club, or the adhoc social events that are promoted. In addition to these all academy students are encouraged to attend local schools and colleges to give presentations regarding the scheme and attend career fairs. I think that there could be more involvement with the company and apprentices, perhaps some out-of-work workshops to help us build a relationship better with our peers or something?
9a. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The scheme truly allows you to really make a difference within the business while fully funding your CIMA studies. Also with a company as large as Siemens it can provide you with great opportunities for the future. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going into an engineering role. It's different to what i expected (in a good way) and i would certainly say to give it a go and see where you end up and if, at the end you decide it's not for you, you have the education and the work experience without the student fees at the least anyway!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens? *
Read up about the business and its long history within the UK and also the environmental and social responsibilities that are at the heart Siemens. I would also say to read up about the apprenticeship and make sure you have some other quesions in mind to ask your interviewer (if you get this far). From my interview, i remember that they seemed to like my enthusian and the fact i showed a lot of interest in the actual apprenticeship rather than just wanting the job and not caring too much about what it was about.
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