1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an electronic technician at DSTL, my daily tasks consist of working on analyzing electronic systems, the exact tasks i am not at liberty to reveal due to their sensitive nature. Within the company i interact with my supervisor, manager and colleagues as well as the technical advisers experts in my area. I currently don't have interactions with external bodies to the company, at least not on a daily basis. Projects I'm involved in within the company I'm not at liberty to discuss but externally thanks to what I've learnt within work I'm working on repairing and refurbishing a nitro-methane powered RC car. Everyday I will spend time using the lab to analyze and characterize equipment for further testing and modification.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've learnt how to go through the proper channels to get changes made or to enable to me to job better within the company. I've also got an IPC soldering qualification as well as many internal training courses that give me skills transferable to the outside world.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I greatly enjoy my program, it affords me many opportunities and surrounds me with experts full of knowledge that enable to better my own knowledge on activities inside and outside of work. The work itself is engaging and varied, rarely dealing with the same challenge twice, and should I come to a challenge I'm unable to conquer there is always support to help me overcome it. I've enjoyed near every second and its exceeded me expectations thoroughly.
4. How valued do you feel by DSTL?
My manager and above are always able to give feedback and help me feel appreciated for what i do within the company, I feel like I have an important role within my team. Externally i have been recognized by the training school and was even able to except congratulations from Prince Charles at an MOD award ceremony. Within the company I have been involved with many varied tasks and projects involving more necessary but arguably menial labor to highly complex advanced studies.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction to the company is thoroughly comprehensive. the training we received while generic gave me what i needed to start specializing during my placements and advancing my knowledge further. My mentor has been a great help in guiding me and giving me a gentle introduction to the area in which i was working providing escalating challenge as I got more confident in my skills. Tasks that are delegated to me have afforded me to many opportunists to prove my worth to the team. The team hierarchy is rather flat which makes for an enjoyable tension free environment when working. So far i have nothing to show that would make my programme look unorganized.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider has been a great help in providing support for my qualification always offering help and guidance at how to best meet the criteria I'm yet to hit or how to make what I have go that much further in proving my competency.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has been great in providing support allowing me to remove an element of stress when i had to move to another company location to more thoroughly prove myself within my role. With their support i haven't had to worry about the possibility of not being able to make ends meet. Their attitude towards supporting me has always been great making sure i have everything i need within the company and without, regularly making sure that if there was anything they could do to make my life easier that i'd need only say.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary meets my costs as DSTL is able to cover any additional travel or living costs. My salary allows me purse me hobbies and social activities.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many company activities outside of work mostly around the holidays but within the company there is also access to the CSSC which provides even more opportunities outside of work including incredibly cheap gym memberships to high quality gyms!
9. Would you recommend DSTL to a friend?
Because the entire apprenticeship has been an enjoyable and enlightening time that has greatly advanced my knowledge and skills
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to DSTL?
Be confident in yourself and don't try to hide anything, if its medical/social or any other issue they are very accepting and understanding of what you might require but it will never be a mark against your employ-ability for them.
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