24 May 2019
Alyshia has been enjoying her apprenticeship in Engineering Services. We had a chat about the reasons why she chose an apprenticeship in engineering and the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated area.
What made you apply for an apprenticeship?
When our college offered work experience at BT I was keen to get involved. I first came for a week in April where I got to explore and I left thinking “this is the job for me!” Came back a few months later for more knowledge on what the job would involve. After finding out all the amazing perks that come with the job I knew the electronics apprenticeship was right for me.
Of all the schemes that BT offers, why did you choose engineering?
From a young age, I have always loved STEM activities. I loved product design in school because it involved designing and building things. It built a passion in me to which was further enhanced when I went to college to study electronics, where I didn’t have to just design and build a system. If it didn’t work I would then have to figure out what was wrong with it and fix it.
What is one of the best aspects of your job?
There are so many benefits to this job: you get an amazing amount of support and training throughout your apprenticeship, you experience things which you would never be doing in a 9-5 job, you're always meeting new people and going to different places. Every day is different: we always face a new challenge and you have to use your initiative to solve the problem. The best aspect is knowing that you have fixed the problem for the customer and that it now works because of you.
Can you balance your work life with your studies?
As long as I keep on track with my studies I am given plenty of time to complete any tasks while working. We are given 20% of our work time to revise and have a lot of support given by our buddy, NVQ assessor, manager and coach. I know that if I was ever struggling I could ask my team or others around me to let me focus on my studies.
As a woman, do you face any particular challenges by working in engineering?
I'm very fortunate to be working with an amazing team. They are extremely supportive and if I ever had any problems I could go to anyone in my team for advice. Of course, sometimes I face challenges of being the only woman on courses which can be a bit daunting at first but once I get settled in, it builds my confidence and makes me feel proud to be doing something I love even though I may be the odd one out.
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