1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is a Business Apprentice and I have been put under the Project Management function. Everyday I will come into the office and get on with the weekly tasks set by my manager at the start of the week. My job is mostly office based but due to the personal project my manager has set up for me I am able to get out into various other areas in the business and interact with a variety of different people, as well as engineering. The responsibility of having my own project to manage and complete is that the final product provides important and relevant information for the rest of my team.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Even though I have only been here since September (5 months) I have quickly developed new skills and enhanced old ones. Most importantly my confidence has come on tremendously. Due to the amount of support from team member and my manager I have also developed on professionalisms and presentation skills; which BAE Systems really encourage. I have been able to attend various courses which develop my IT Literacy and PM fundamental knowledge. Due to BAE Systems being such a large company communication is key, and this has really been developed as well as the sense of team work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy working at BAE Systems. The working environment is friendly and welcoming as I was brand new into this type of office environment. My team made it very easy to settle in and are always willing to go the extra mile to help and develop me, giving me as many experiences as possible. The apprenticeship exceeded my expectations as the support I have received is great and everyone is very focused on what is best for me and helping me to get the most out of each placement - I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
As I was completely new to the business I was worried that I would get boring, useless jobs to do but this was completely the opposite. I love the fact that the tasks I am given are actually important and it is very rewarding when you complete a task well as the managers really are appreciative of your work. When visiting the different areas of BAE Systems everyone is very interested in what I am doing and willing to explain their role in the company to further my understanding. I really believe I am valued in my team as each good piece of work I did I would receive all recognition and praise from managers.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
For the first two weeks there was an induction for all Business Apprentices to let us know everything we needed before heading into the business. As there is a new training academy on site this is really helping the organisation of the apprenticeship as it is easy to get in touch with mentors to complete additional qualifications away from the working environment. There is also a day allocated, once every two weeks for apprentices to go to college to complete their qualifications. It was clearly laid out we would move placements and where we would move to in advance.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My tutor is always easy to contact and get hold of if there is any problems or additional support needed. Due to the new training academy being build the assessors are usually on site. My assessors provides a lot of support and is always setting up workshops that we can attend to get up to date with NVQ and have her on hand if we get stuck. I enjoy working with my mentors as well because they try get the best from me and be the best person i can as well.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from my team, but mostly my manager. He is always willing to go the extra mile to help me. It was quickly picked up at the start of my apprenticeship that my biggest weakness was presenting, as my manager realised this he quickly set up support sessions and I have really come on in self-confidence. He would set up sessions at the end of every week for a catch up to talk about my week and how I am, which really helped to build a good working relationship as well as trust. Even thought he was very busy, he would always make time for me and provide continuous support.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary easily meets all additional costs. As I drive quite a long way to work (around 50 minutes) I spend quite a lot of money on fuel, yet I am still able to pay for all additional costs, such as the car itself etc, and still be able to go out frequently with my friends. I think that the salary may be seen as poor or quite bad at times but comparing it to that of other apprenticeships it's really good and much better than minimum wage for sure!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
BAE Systems provide a variety of activities that apprentices are able to get involved with, and really encourage us to do so. Examples of this are becoming a STEM Ambassador, this means representing the company by going into schools. There are also chances to help others such as the Princes Trust and the chance to volunteer at local hospices etc. The STEM ambassador work is really good and is probably my favourite part of the apprenticeship around being able to work with different departments and doing different jobs and types of work.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
BAE Systems is a extremely reputable company which provides you with the chance to earn and learn which gaining experiences and valuable insights into a great company. You are also able to gain qualifications as well as starting your career and getting your foot in the door. I think that universities are overtaking what young people seem to do nowadays and apprenticeships definitely need to be spoken about more as there are far better opportunities with them compared to university plus you won't be left in student debt so yes i'd definitely recommend this apprenticeship!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
I would advise people applying to really take time on their application and not worry if they do not submit it really early, I only submitted it a few days before. In regards to the interview just make sure you are prepared and have knowledge of the company and their products and services. Make sure you put yourself forward for anything you can and make great impressions on each team and every person you meet. If you get an interview just be yourself, be kind and show that you understand what your role will be and that you really would love to have the opportunity to progress within BAE Systems.
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