Tyra Banks is in her first year as an advanced engineering apprentice in the Telford, United Kingdom location at Schneider Electric. Although her apprenticeship is on rotation, currently she is enjoying her role in the customer care centre. Read her blog as she answers questions about why she chose to take part in an engineering apprentice!
How did you decide you wanted to do an engineering apprenticeship after school?
I have always had a natural interest in electrical engineering, and, since the engineering industry is constantly growing as well as the innovation that is found within the industry, it was even more appealing to me. I found it would benefit me more to have an apprenticeship in comparison to other routes as this allows me to work in my desired field whilst gaining a qualification in it.
What was it that attracted you to join Schneider Electric?
I was attracted to Schneider Electric as they offered further educational opportunities for me, such as the offer of completing an HNC (Higher national certificate) after the apprenticeship’s completion. I was also attracted to the variety of working environments they offer, as I will be moving around the different departments thus giving me a realistic experience of the different roles found in Schneider Electric and giving an insight into the potential career paths offered to me within the company.
Tell us about a typical day in the office?
Currently, I am working in the Customer Care Centre. A typical day for me in this department involves sitting with members of the team whilst they demonstrate processes used within the department that are necessary for them to fulfil their role, completing any tasks I am issued by team members and completing training that would enable me to perform the processes done by those in the department so I can deal with customer inquiries and other responsibilities in the role independently.
What do you enjoy most and least about your job?
I enjoy most how I am given an accurate and honest insight into the different roles within Schneider Electric: the different departments involve me with the tasks they complete daily and welcomed me as part of their team. The departments I have been in have provided support and advice regarding the roles, including providing me with tasks that they would complete and giving the appropriate support, detailing how to successfully fulfill their role, product knowledge and the appropriate responses to customers.
I enjoy least that I am not aware of the departments I will be in next year. A schedule for next year is in progress, however, I would have preferred to have known the departments I will be in for my entire first year before I started my apprenticeship.
Is your apprenticeship what you thought it would be?
My role as an engineering apprentice is what I thought it would be. However, I have been introduced to a wider variety of roles than I expected through my time in the different departments. Also, I have been given an array of opportunities to familiarise myself with the company and to promote it, such as visits to other Schneider Electric sites, discussions with members of the HR team and attending career conventions.
How do you balance work and studying?
I maintain balancing work and studying by completing college work such as assignments and independent learning at college or at home. If I am struggling with the content or a specific task, I can confer with the different departments at work and they provide advice and support.
What type of job would you like to do when you finish your engineering apprenticeship?
I am unsure of the specific role I would like to have. However, I am interested in a job where I can work closely with both customers and products, where I can work practically with products and apply my knowledge.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
I would advise anyone considering an apprenticeship to make it known to their mentor or the person responsible for them if there are areas they are struggling with and if they would need additional support or advice, and that they are welcome to ask general questions. I would also advise them to accept any opportunities such as attending career conventions and volunteering to do tasks/events.
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