Real-life experience with an Electronics Engineering Apprenticeship

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Lacey Evans is a first-year Electronics Engineering degree apprentice out of our Worthing, United Kingdom office. During her apprenticeship, she works in Research and Development (R&D) and Software through the Industrial Automation business unit. Her blog answers the must-know questions when considering an engineering apprenticeship after school. Check out Lacey’s answers here:

How did you decide you wanted to do an engineering apprenticeship after school?

I’ve always known that engineering is for me – it combines the satisfying problem-solving side of math with the fascinating fundamentals of physics! I decided to follow the degree apprenticeship route against the traditional university route as it meant that I could begin my career sooner. I know of many people that have their degrees but are now stuck with debt and struggle to find a job due to the lack of workplace experience they have – a degree apprenticeship ensures you won’t have these problems!

What was it that attracted you to join Schneider Electric?

I started out at Schneider Electric by doing my work experience – after that, I was offered a part-time job throughout college until I learnt about the higher apprenticeship programme, which was just what I was looking for.

Tell us about a typical day in the office?

A typical day in the office involves a lot of watching, learning and doing – I’m surrounded by people who are more than happy to help or let me watch over their shoulder, which is vital for this role. I do a lot of research day to day and often try things out for myself after watching and learning to consolidate my knowledge. I learn something new every day, which makes for the perfect opportunity to build the knowledge and skills for the career I am striving for!

What do you enjoy most and least about your job?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is most definitely the learning – I learn about so many new things that all link into engineering that I never would’ve considered before. The list of possible routes to take through electronic engineering is endless! The thing I’d say I enjoy least about the job would have to be the workload – the combination of full-time work, part-time university, assignments, and exams can be extremely tough, all while juggling personal life can prove to be a lot of work, but with the right support and determination, it is possible!

Is your apprenticeship what you thought it would be?

I went into my degree apprenticeship with very little idea about what it would be like, it was all new to me and I didn’t know anyone who had done it before! I think it’s almost impossible to predict what doing an apprenticeship will be like as it is different for everyone – the most important thing is to keep an open mindset and to be able to adapt to changes – it’s all part of the learning.

How do you balance work and studying?

I try to plan out my schedule week by week – every week is different so it’s important to make sure I can accommodate the work I’ve planned to ensure that I’m on top of everything.

What type of job would you like to do when you finish your electronics engineering apprenticeship?

After my apprenticeship, I would certainly like to find myself with some form of electronics engineering job – potentially software engineering or test engineering, but I am keeping my options open as I have plenty of time to work out what I enjoy most!

What advice would you give anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

My advice to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be to carefully consider their options. A common myth is that apprenticeships are the easier route, which is most definitely not the case – though they do come with the benefit of gaining experience, whilst earning a wage and so remaining debt-free. With all things taken into consideration, given you have the passion and drive for the subject you’re considering and are prepared to put in the work, then this is the perfect opportunity!


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