Apprentice Tip #1: "Always ask questions"

Monday 6 February 2023

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2023, over the next few days we will be sharing stories and wisdom from some of our amazing apprentices. 

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is 'Skills for Life'. The week will reflect on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

At MBDA we are proud of our diverse early careers opportunities and in the last year alone have been recognised as a Best Place to Work by Glassdoor, a Gold standard employer by Investors in People, and Best Big Company to Work For. We have also been awarded Gold status once more by the 5% Club, in recognition of MBDA’s commitments to our earning and learning programmes.  
To kick things off for #NAW23, we spoke to Amy, one of our HR Advisors for Early Careers.

Hi Amy – what does your role at MBDA involve?
I am an HR Advisor in the Early Careers Development Team. Not only do we, as a team, induct the Early Careers population into MBDA, but I also act as a Line Manager to Bristol and Stevenage Systems & Software Apprentices, Stevenage Project Control Apprentices and Stevenage Business Apprentices. Additionally, I am the HR Representative for my Apprentice Group and the L&D Support for both Apprentices and Graduates.  

I am an apprentice myself, and am grateful MBDA could offer me this opportunity. It has been a massive challenge for me as I haven’t been involved with anything academically since I was 16 (that was quite some time ago), however, it has been fundamental in my growth as an HR Advisor and I am incredibly grateful that MBDA gave me the opportunity to begin with.

How long have you been at MBDA? What led to you joining?
I have worked at MBDA for 4 years, starting as an L&D Administrator and later applying (and being accepted) to join the Early Careers Development Team. I was initially attracted to MBDA because I thought they sounded “cool” (old school wording, I know), however, after looking into their values as part of my interview prep, I realised that how they branded themselves resonated with own morals.

What does a day in the life typically look like for you at MBDA
It could range from focusing on future projects that help evolve our processes, to working closely with our educational providers to ensure the experience and support our apprentices receive is nothing short of the best. As with any role, there are also a multitude of ad-hoc tasks that land on our laps daily, so this role involves plenty of plate spinning.

What are your career goals in MBDA, and how have MBDA supported this?
I am incredibly happy within my role and absolutely love what I do, for me; this is my career. I would love to eventually get more qualifications under my belt, as I am currently finishing off my CIPD level 5 however a slight break from Apprenticeships is in order first!


What Hints and Tips would you give to new starters?
I have two key tips I would say to any new starter joining us. Firstly - always ask questions. You aren’t annoying anyone or being a burden; you are doing what we expect anyone new to the role to do. The more you ask, the more comfortable you feel to achieve as well as feel more confident within yourself and your tasks.

My second tip is to get involved… do some extra curricula activities, build your network of peers, don’t be afraid to step outside of your placement objectives and engage with communities such as IGNITE and MBDA network groups. Building a strong network early is a good foundation for your future. I would also advise though to never leave yourself in a position where you feel overwhelmed, so only take on what you feel you can manage.  

What has been one of your best experiences since starting at MBDA?
Since starting at MBDA, I have had so many chances to be involved in exciting projects however the best recent thing for me was leading the organisation and delivery of the ECP 2022 induction. It was a huge learning experience but very exciting none-the-less and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the end result to all the hard work that had been put in by myself and the team.

Tell us about your experience of dynamic working at MBDA?
I absolutely love it! It has really helped us to streamline our processes and look at new ways we can interact with one another in a remote world. I think Dynamic Working is one of the best things to happen to MBDA as it has truly brought us forward as a contender within our industry in regards to the benefits we offer potential future candidates.

Finally, tell us about the people you work with…
I know everyone says this, but I really do have the best team in the company! Both the Early Careers Development Team and the wider Learning & Development team are encouraging, supportive and such great people. I feel so lucky to be a part of the nicest team I have ever worked for as well as have a role that helps develop and grow talent.

Looking for 2023 apprenticeships? Make sure to explore more information on this site under the Early Careers tab, and head to our job search for any programmes still accepting applications (please note these will all be closing soon!).