Not knowing what to study, or what career to pursue, is more of a universal experience than you might think...

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.

Parker Meggitt Apprentices


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 the returns.

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 previous day.

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 Email Communications.


Parker Meggitt YP Board

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 professional environment.

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 for apprenticeships.

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 at all?

I think there are a lot of challenges within an apprenticeship because, you know, it's just so different from what school is like.

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 alternative viewpoint.

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 expect.

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 helped me.

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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