APPRENTICE SOFTWARE ENGINEER
UP UNTIL NOW
I was at college studying mechanical engineering and working part-time at a CNC machining factory before I joined Thales. Since then, I’ve mostly been studying a HNC and NVQ in order to gain the basic skills and knowledge I need to be able to go and work on site. That said, because I’m in my second year of the apprenticeship, we’ve begun to spend more and more time on site learning about the different type of roles available. I can't wait to put everything I’ve learned into full-time practice.
GETTING A TASTE OF THE FUTURE
As part of the apprenticeship, a few of us took part in the Skills for London exhibition in order to try and get more people interested in engineering and look at Thales UK as a career option. Part of the challenge was to work on a small project that involved designing some sort of game. We came up with two small train sets that used dynamos to make the trains move. Basically, the person who could get their train from one end to the other in the quickest time won. This gave us a taste of the type of constraints like budget and time we would be up against once fully integrated into the company.
WHAT YOU NEED & WHAT YOU’LL GET
The main attributes you need are fault finding and problem solving skills, as on site we often have to locate faults and find a way to fix them. Listening and following instructions is really important too, as is team work, as you could be working with different people every week, so it’s important to be able to get on with anyone. In return, you’ll find that whether you’re struggling with the workload and need extra time or there’s an issue in your personal life that requires extra help, support is always readily available. Training’s also constantly available in the form of internal and external courses, as well as instruction on site.
PRESTIGE AND MOTIVATION
Working for Thales and getting involved in projects such as the Connect radio or the newly acquired 4LM makes you feel like you’re part of something really prestigious. I’ve only been at the company for just over a year, but having passed the first year of my college course, I’m really motivated to work as hard as I can and learn more about the different areas of the company while progressing in my career. Whilst I work nights during the week, the weekends are all mine, which means, living in London, there’s plenty of time to explore the city’s wide variety of sights and cultures.