The life of a Siemens Apprentice
I worked for a small heating and ventilation engineering company, and I was employed by the electrical sector within the company, whose job it was to create ridiculously large control panels, with a crazy amount of cables for many different clients. When I started, 16 years old and fresh faced, I got introduced to these monstrous panels I thought my head was going to fall off! My boss soon realised this, and quickly sent me off on many different jobs around the country, doing everything apart from electrical work, eventually I was blessed to have more time working on these control panels, and by the end of my time there they didn’t seem that ridiculous anymore. Although this sounds like a painfully negative experience, I can’t stress enough how much it has helped me in my life, meeting great people along the way, and gaining priceless work experience in numerous backdrops, it was a very valuable 2 years of my life. Unfortunately I always been an ambitious person so I’ve always wanted to better myself, I believed I belonged at a company at which I could reach my potential, at this point I applied for my current apprenticeship with Siemens, never thinking I would actually have a chance in securing a job.
I applied for the Apprenticeship in the March and had to complete an online competency test, this consisted of a Maths test, English test and a Mechanical test. These tests where moderately difficult (not trying to put you off) but with plenty of practice they are defiantly achievable, and it wasn’t until the June I received a reply from Siemens congratulating me on passing the first stage, and welcoming me to an interview up in Newcastle. The interview was singlehandedly the most terrifying experience that I have ever encountered, but I kept my cool and put a brave face on, and the rest is history. The day before my driving test I received an email from Siemens confirming that I have passed the interview stage, my emotions was all over at this point, ecstatic in regards to the job, in bits for my driving test. The last stage was to complete a working at heights test, as wind turbines are pretty massive, so its probably a good job that they test for any hidden phobias, luckily I managed to keep it together, and was delighted to hear that I had managed to secure an apprenticeship with one of the most influential energy conservation companies on the planet.
The first part of my apprenticeship was to theorise everything involved with modern engineering, during my first year I had to cover a multitude of topics, from programing PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers), to learning now to calculate torque characteristics for different types of electric motors. This may interest you, or could bore you to death, but for all us Wind Turbine Apprentices its bread and butter stuff, we love it! We had many different teachers, each with different stories to tell, this makes the learning experience more involved as you get to know the teachers as people, rather than just ‘teaching robots’, I use the term ‘teaching robots’ loosely, one of them was even a doctor! The topics are obviously difficult but we all had high ambitions for the course, and now that we have all completed it, it feels that must better. With everyone achieving distinctions I believe that it’s a great achievement, for not only us as apprentices, but for the college also, an accolade of their teaching expertise and quality. We all still have a long way until the completion of our apprenticeship, but we all regard this as a massive metaphorical stepping stone crossed, and we I know I am looking forward to the rest of the apprenticeship, and many more days of being a Siemens Apprentice.