Phoebe McQueen – MBDA UK Ltd – Missile Systems Manufacturer

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NAME, DATE OF BIRTH AND JOB ROLE

Phoebe McQueen   14/07/1999   Higher Operations Apprentice

WHICH TYPE OF APPRENTICESHIP ARE YOU DOING OR HAVE YOU COMPLETED? 

Higher Operations Apprenticeship

WHO DO YOU WORK FOR AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

MBDA UK Ltd – Missile Systems Manufacturer

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE?

I knew that going to university wasn’t an option for me; I didn’t want to move away from home, I struggle to learn or work well in a class room environment and knew that I needed to be doing something practical that would keep me engaged. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college, I had favourite subjects but they didn’t lead to a secure job. So, I went to college and studied subjects that I didn’t necessarily enjoy or want to study, purely so that I could ‘keep my options open’. It came to applying for university and I didn’t know what to study so I applied for as many different courses (and subjects) that I could..! I was then introduced to the idea of an apprenticeship through a family friend who owns an engineering company. She pointed me in the right direction and I realised that an apprenticeship was definitely the way forward for me.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAY IN YOUR WORK LIFE INVOLVE?

As an operations apprentice, I spend my day shadowing skilled operators and engineers. I do 2/3 month placements across the company to gain an appreciation for every aspect of work, as well as a vast variety of skills. There are also other aspects of the apprenticeship, such as going to college once a week to complete my qualifications, doing my NVQ, and the endless Learning and Development opportunities I am provided with on a day to day basis.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN APPRENTICE?

I enjoy how much responsibility I am given, even as a first year apprentice

I was organising events with the Charity team, as well as organising  the opportunity for apprentices and graduates to complete highly approved learning and development opportunities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I also love the fact that I’m given independence when working with my skilled operator. I’ll be shown how to do something, and then be given a job to do by myself. This often proves as a challenge but is enjoyable when I’ve completed it myself.

WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN 5 YEARS’ TIME?

In five years time I will have finished my Apprenticeship and be a Level 2 skilled operator. In the future I would like to transfer from operations to engineering and work towards being a Level 4 Engineer.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? 

A few of my biggest achievements would be becoming an ambassador for LYAAN and having the opportunity to influence and encourage people, particularly women, to get involved in STEM subjects. I’m also proud to say I currently hold both Silver and Diamond DofE awards as well as being part way through my Gold Award.

GIVE US ONE FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF!

I’m a coach at an Artistic Roller Skating club.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT BECOMING AN APPRENTICE?

Make sure it’s the right option for you. Do your research, apply for as much as you can and make sure it’s something you’re genuinely interested in as you’re doing to spend the next 12 months-4 years learning about it. Be confident and outgoing in your interviews, don’t be afraid to ask questions and do as much as you can to make your CV stand out.