1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The apprenticeship at MBDA involves moving around several 3-month placements in different areas of the business. The work given to you will be real work, so that you can take some responsibly for the tasks you are doing and can gain an appreciation for how each department in the business works. Your line manager will make sure you are comfortable with what you are doing and will complete a review of your performance at the end of the placement.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over my apprenticeship, I gained a HND in Mechanical Engineering and also went on a lot of company-ran training courses. All of the courses were relevant to my job and helped me with my day-to-day activities. Also, my communication skills have also naturally improved whilst working with the company; I feel confident emailing, telephoning and in meetings when getting my point across to other people in the business.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme was a very enjoyable time for me, I got to know many areas of the business and the people within the company were always happy to help and guide me along the way. I feel the work I was doing was relevant and also gave me the sense that I was helping the department to achieve its goals and I wasn't just "shadowing" the whole time.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship program has a clear structure which is outlined from the very start. A placement plan is given to you so that you know all of the placements you will be going to and any deadlines for NVQ or college are given to you in advance so that you are aware.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
MBDA supports us with the apprenticeship along the way, through regular meetings with managers and then the placement reviews at the end of each placement. They fund all of our studying towards a HND and are supportive if we have any additional training needs on top of our college courses.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The college we go to supports us with our assignments along the way but could be more organised with how they issue the assignments and the turnover of lecturers. I never had many problems at the college but I do feel that they could have provided a better standard of training at times.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The HND I gained at Oaklands College has benefitted my job as a design engineer as it taught me the basic and advanced principles of mechanical engineering that I am using day-to-day in my role. The problem solving skills I learnt at college also benefit my role as I use them when things don't go to plan.
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.)
There is a Sports and Social Club at our work that organises all leisure and sporting activities at a discounted price. There are also plenty of inter-site sports competitions and many different networking events that people can attend in order to make contacts around the business and appreciate the work they do.
9a. Would you recommend MBDA to a friend?
The company has been a very good career choice for me as they have supported my apprenticeship the whole way and I now have a full0time job here. I think anyone joining MBDA is setting up a good future for themselves and will also receive a high level of training along the way.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to MBDA?
Make sure you state any extra-curricular activities that you do, academic achievements are very impressive but MBDA are also looking for people that are passionate about engineering and have a drive for it. Don't worry about being nervous, the people recruiting aren't expecting everyone to be seasoned interviewees as most people are applying straight from school or college and they won't be too concerned by a few nerves.
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