Apprentice Tip #2: "Get yourself involved"

Monday 6 February 2023

Continuing this week’s series of stories from MBDA Apprentices, we caught up with Lewis, our Software Engineering Apprentice about their experiences of life at MBDA to-date.

Lewis, what does your role entail?
I am a Software Engineering Apprentice which means I can get involved in a number of different projects across Software. Like my colleagues I work on maintaining, updating and creating software for MBDA products. At the moment I am working within the Embedded Software Team. We are responsible for the safety critical software you would expect to find within a missile.

How long have you been at MBDA? What led to you joining?
This is my third year with MBDA. Previously I was in sixth form and intended to go into software engineering/cyber security; I had a web development background but I didn’t feel suited for that area. I wanted to complete a degree apprenticeship because I think a degree becomes much more valuable with industry experience built up alongside it.

What sort of activities might a typical day at MBDA look like for you?
Cycling to work; team meetings to discuss progress and next steps; developing software and asking for help from my colleagues if I get stuck; chatting to fellow apprentices at lunch about work, university and other things!

What Hints and Tips would you give to new starters?
1.     Get yourself involved in activities which are not necessarily in your comfort zone. You might find you enjoy it or develop an understanding for other areas of the business.

2.     Build a network early on. If you have an issue you can’t resolve, someone in your network will be able to or know someone else who might be able to help.

3.     Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone is always happy to help out and it shows that you are willing to learn.


What has been the best thing since starting at MBDA and the most exciting thing you’ve had the chance to work on?
I had the opportunity to work on a project last year from a Cyber Security and Software Development perspective within different placements. I managed to get so much out of the placement and even today I still think about the potential it has and the impacts it may have. Any future battlespace projects are incredibly interesting.

What opportunities have you seen/taken since starting at MBDA?
I’d like to think I’ve taken as many as I felt comfortable doing at a time. I’ve gotten involved in many events representing apprentices at MBDA, training and reaching out to future placements.

Has anything surprised you since joining MBDA?
How I am treated as a member of the team rather than an intern/student. I expected when I joined to be quite separate from the rest of the team, but I’m getting stuck in working on the same stuff as them.

Tell us about your colleagues
They have all treated me just like any other member of the team and are always willing to lend a hand. Managers have been understanding about workloads I might have from university throughout the year and I can talk to them if I have any concerns without any hesitation.

If you feel like you could fit in with life at MBDA and want a rewarding career, with excellent progression and future prospects, then make sure to apply to any suitable vacancies today, and to keep in touch!