1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently in my first year of the PCFS (Project Control Foundation Scheme) within BAE Systems. The position offers the opportunity to transition across five different project control based placements in various platforms across the organisation. My daily tasks involve providing project control support to various campaigns within the Hawk Business Development sector; this includes developing robust resource plans, managing and allocating budget, tracking of 'actuals' (spends)and ensuring all major documentation is kept up-to-date and accurate. I also attend and lead many meetings which allow me to interact with and learn from many highly experienced individuals.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
During my time in this placement I have been able to develop my data gathering and analysis skills - through the financial aspects of work I conduct. I have also been able to develop my communication skills, which is of great importance when working within such a diverse team. In terms of new skills I have developed a good understanding of two financial support systems (SAP and BaaN) and I am currently looking to develop my understanding of MSP (Microsoft Project).
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme offers many fantastic enrichment and development opportunities, along with a brilliant support system; it really is a case of the more you put in, the more you get out! I am absolutely loving the programme and when I look back at what I have achieved and experienced over the past nine months... I can't help but get excited as to what the rest of the scheme will offer!
4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?
The thought of entering a business as large as BAE Systems was a daunting one, however BAE Systems recognises Apprentices as being the future of their business. A lot of time and resource is spent to ensure that apprentices have everything they need to make the most of themselves; hard work, commitment and intuition from apprentices are highly valued and do not go un-recognised.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured and fits around the normal academic year, which aids the way in which our education merges into our work life. As a means of tracking our progression we are tasked with a number of Key Competencies which we must achieve throughout our time on the scheme.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
There is a brilliant support system offered within the PCFS, official channels would be your direct report (your Line Manager) or the Project Management Central Function both of which have a raft of experience. As individuals we have regular development reviews where we can discuss our progress and any areas of weakness can be addressed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
BAE Systems provides all its employees with a great support network... This includes workshops and training days, enrichment activities and diversity and awareness training to name but a few.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
From a personal point of view the salary (along with previous savings) has enabled me to get on the property ladder and own my own house. I am able to support myself and still comfortably enjoy the finer things in life; I have recently bought myself a new car and I am currently planning a nice summer getaway! :)
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there is a strong social community and not very many weeks go by when we are not planning a night out or arranging some sort of team sport match. I was recently given the opportunity to attend an awards evening/dinner, where I met many highly regarded members of the BAE Systems community along with a host of local business and charity organisations. Alongside this there are many other opportunities, such as the BAE Systems flying club.
9. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
The opportunities offered to individuals at BAE Systems are incredible. There is a real chance to establish a career within a highly regarded professional environment; and also the ability to support your personal life and achieve your life goals.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems?
Be concise..be confident..and be yourself! The employment process at BAE Systems offers a great platform to really showcase why you are the best candidate for the role and why you will be driven to achieve your best within the role.. but don't forget you must also be a team player!
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