Digital Systems Apprentice at Siemens

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Start Date:
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£16,948 annually
Review Date:
May 2019

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Review Score

8.5 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I work in Systems Engineering in the System Integration and Test team where I help to integrate different hardware and software systems as part of test rigs. I work in all areas of the process, including design, building, testing and commissioning of test systems. This also can involve some communication with the customer.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have learnt new skills through in-house training. This includes a Basic Signalling Technology course which gave me a better understanding of the industry and the basic principle behind everything at work. I have also completed a Signalling Testing course which has developed some of my electrical skills. Through working with others and watching other people at work I have greatly developed my electrical knowledge and skills.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I am really enjoying the programme. I find the work very interesting and varied, and because it is all project based, it means that no two projects are the same which keeps it interesting. The team that I am working in are a pleasure to work with and are always supportive and friendly.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


With regard to the induction and training at the start of the programme there was certainly a lack of organisation. At the start of the programme I felt very much like I had been thrown in the deep end. This isn't always a bad thing but there was no training for the first 10 months or so, and there was a lack of communication between the Apprenticeship Manager and the team that I had been put in which meant that the first few months were a bit disorganised. This was all down to the Apprenticeship team however - the team that I'm actually working in has been very organised and structured. We have weekly team meetings to discuss and delegate work for that week, and my line manager is available at all times if I need to talk to him. It is very clear what work I need to do and I am given a good amount of work. Overall the programme is well structured, however the Apprenticeship Department have not been very organised.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I am very happy with the support I get from my line manager. He is always happy to drop what he's doing to talk to me if I have a problem and he deals with things professionally and in a supportive manner. The HR team is very good as well and are very helpful. My apprenticeship manager is also similar in that if I have any issues I know I can talk to him about it. My team is very supportive as well, and if I have any problems then I know who I can talk to depending on their expertise and they are very willing to help.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


The Open University are very supportive. There are lots of different people that I can talk to, be it my practise tutor, the Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager, my personal tutor etc. They are very swift to respond to any queries I might have and they seem like they actually want to resolve the problem rather than it just being their job to.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


As I have not been doing the course very long I can't really comment on this, other than that after looking at the upcoming course material it looks like this course will be useful in my workplace as it will give me skills that I will be able to use within my team.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


As far as I am aware there aren't any sport clubs or anything like that, but there are networking events to attend. I recently attended the Young Rail Professionals annual black tie dinner and awards evening which was a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people in other companies in the industry.

9a. Would you recommend Siemens to a friend?


9b. Why?

From day one, despite a few minor issues in organisation, I have felt supported by everyone around me. I feel like the company wants me to succeed and they are interested in my own development first, and what I can bring to the company second. They are great investors in people - this is quite evident in that they are paying for my degree.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Siemens?

If you get an interview then you're in a really good position. Don't stress out about the interview - it's about you which is the subject that you know most about! It's a competency based interview, so if you're like me and have a bad memory, just have a think the night before about situations when you've used certain engineering or problem solving skills because they are likely to ask you to give examples of such things. The assessment day isn't something you should worry about. Remember - they're not really assessing your skills in this, they're looking at how well you work in a team. You are put together with some other people and you have to complete a task. Make sure you read and re-read the brief to make sure you are clear on what you have to do. It can help you to stand out if you take a leading role in the group, but if you do that then you must make sure to listen to everyone's ideas and not do everything yourself.

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