We caught up with Mia, a GetMyFirstJob Apprentice Ambassador and degree apprentice at Parker Meggitt, to learn more about how she navigated through her own uncertainty. What advice she'd give to young people currently thinking about what career route is best for them? Find out by reading on...
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I didn't quite know what I wanted to do at university. I was
unsure which specific course to do and the apprenticeship that I was offered at
Parker Meggitt, as a Chartered Management one, is about looking into all
different areas of the business. It sounded like the best offer that would have
worked for me, and it also gives you a hands-on learning experience.
You do learn, but then you also get to work in real-life situations,
which I think I've always worked well in. I've had a job ever since I was young,
so I think you really get used to applying your skills and stuff. So, I knew
that was the way I wanted to start my career.
What made you choose the chartered management
qualification specifically? Was there anything that stood out to you?
Well, it was a rotational placement scheme, so I will be
doing different placements all around the business. I think that gives me quite
a wide perspective of how a business works and all the different experiences.
I've done my marketing
placement for six months, I'm doing my finance placement now, and then I go
into all different areas. I think it really gives you a good opportunity to
understand the business but also to network throughout different sectors which
gives you lots of connections from all the around the business.
Mine is also a degree apprenticeship, so I get my degree at
the end of it as well as 4-years of work experience. Aston University has been
very supportive and structured with their studies so far. I’m enjoying the on-campus
days and online webinars.
What drew you to apply to Meggitt and what appealed to
you the most about the company?
I did a little bit of research on companies.
I think that's really
important before you apply for job roles to have a brief idea of the company’s
values and working styles. I knew that Meggitt had a good investment in
apprentices and graduate schemes, and they’ve had a very established system,
and they've put a lot of effort into their apprentices. So, I knew I would get
Also, when looking at their values I believe their values
resonated with my values, which showed a positive work culture in which I would
like to work.
I’ve seen that you’ve recently completed a day-in-the-life
video for us. Can you just explain in a bit more detail what a normal day looks
like for you?
So, it's a bit different now because I've started my finance
placement. But I normally come in, I have my daily sales to do, so I produce a
report which I then send out to the business about the sales of the prior day
and highlight trends and discrepancies. I run that report, send that out, then
I'll have a daily meeting with my team just to discuss any issues from the
We also discuss the workload of the team and what
everybody's doing and if there are any concerns. Then I will work on projects
with different people throughout the day, or work on different reports that
need to go out on specific days.
I'm also part of the YP council. I started getting involved in
the site council at YP which means we look at our employee resource groups and
how we can support and inspire Young Professionals. We try to host events for
young professionals within our workplace. We have lots of meetings on events,
brainstorming ideas and how we can get the most through our group chats and
What has been the biggest highlight of your
apprenticeship so far, obviously there's many more to come.
I think the biggest highlight is just the trust that people
give to you.
You start learning new things
which seem overwhelming at first, but I think the more you persevere and the
more you get involved in your placements, the more confident you feel in the
I think that's a big achievement for me. Because, obviously,
apprenticeships are so different from school, even just getting used to it, and
understanding the office environment and business styles.
I've also attended a few events. I went to an ‘Empowering Women
in the Workplace’ event and got to represent Parker Meggitt, which was great. I
also helped at an open day that we hosted at Parker Meggitt not long ago. This
was good to just speak to lots of potential apprentices and their excitement
And it was actually really nice to talk about our
experiences so far and any tips and trick we have; it was really helpful!
And just to follow that, have there been any challenges
I think there are a lot of challenges within an
apprenticeship because, you know, it's just so different from what school is
The work environment is such a different environment. But I
think if you really are invested and you're ready to do it, you should be able
to fit in and apply yourself easily. You pick it up a lot easier than you
think! The way people talk, act, the way you send communications out, send
emails, I think this was the initial challenge; getting used to those systems
and language used.
I also think another challenge
is having the confidence to voice your opinions in meetings. You could be in
meetings with people who are a lot more senior and have a lot more experience,
but the apprentices are brought into the business to bring a different
I think my confidence will grow as I'm still learning how to
do that and hopefully, I will get better and voice opinions a bit more freely.
Apprenticeships are a lot of learning so that is always a challenge to have the
motivation and commitment to keep focussed and on task.
Definitely. And of course, because you have those
challenges, is there a support network around you to help you through that? Because
obviously, it can be challenging when you're building on your confidence. So,
do you have a lot of people around you to support you with that?
I have my line manager. He's the one who organised our
apprenticeship schemes, so he knows where we're going, who our managers are,
and things like that. He's a very good support network for me. I always go to
him for a lot of advice. Because it's not to do with my specific placement, he's
really helpful with a fresh set of eyes for stuff.
But also, the year prior to us has a network of apprentices.
We've got quite a lot of connections with them, which is a helpful thing as
they have done different placements and experiences with our scheme and placements,
so can give advice and recommendations. It’s nice that they know what to
I think it's really helped us we're lucky enough to have
another commercial apprentice, so she's been great; just lovely to talk to about
anything and everything apprenticeships!
What advice do you have for anyone that's considering
doing an apprenticeship? It can be specific to Parker Meggitt, or general.
I think you should speak to other apprentices; this has really
I knew someone who was an
apprentice and I think getting their experiences and their viewpoints and
understanding a little bit more about what it is like day to day is crucial for
your decision making. I think this can really help you figure out if
apprenticeships are for you or not.
And I also think when applying for apprenticeships, it's important
to do a bit of research into the company, its values, history, what they’ve
been doing, and whether they’ve been in the news. Before applying, it's good to
get a bit of knowledge about where you're going to be investing your time, to
see if it matches you as well.
Do you have anything else that you want to add?
I think it's important to take your time in the application
stage. Watch a lot of videos and speak to people who can share some knowledge
or experiences of apprenticeships.
There's so much help online on YouTube and GetMyFirstJob
which can increase your confidence in the application process. This shows the
investment to the employer from the start and foreshadows even more commitment
and investment from you as an individual.
To learn more about Mia, as well as the rest of our
GetMyFirstJob Apprentice and Graduate Ambassadors, click here. And to start
your own journey into business or engineering, see what a career in these fields
could look like for you.
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