Meet Tegan – Degree Engineering Apprentice

Tegan is a Degree Engineering Apprentice at BAE Systems, based in Brough. Below, she shares with us her experience and learnings from her degree apprenticeship

Tell us all about your degree engineering apprenticeship so far!

“My interest in engineering began during technology and design lessons at school. It ignited a real passion in me – I wanted to understand how things worked. I decided to take engineering as a GCSE subject, fuelling my fire even more, and went on to complete A-Levels in maths, further maths and physics – subjects I knew would be beneficial to a future engineering career.

When I left college, I understood that a conventional route into university just wasn’t for me. I wanted to continue learning, but I wanted to enhance my knowledge by gaining work experience too. BAE Systems’ aerospace engineering degree apprenticeship seemed like the perfect combination of the two, so I relocated from Norwich to Hull, to start my apprenticeship in Brough.

Tegan Smith - BAE Systems

Moving over to Yorkshire was a big change, but I’ve fallen in love with the place! When I’m not working I love going for walks across North York Moors and photographing the scenery.

I have just started my third year of the apprenticeship programme and have completed four placements so far, each working with different engineering teams and on different projects. There are six placements in the entire programme.

Undoubtedly, the best part about the apprenticeship is the variety of placements. It enables a deeper understanding of the roles within aerospace engineering, and the different platforms that we build. It’s really helping me to understand where I ultimately see myself in the future.

The placement teams are another key highlight; they are so supportive. Being able to work side-by-side with experienced engineers lets me soak up as much knowledge as possible – much more than learning through a textbook. And whilst I absorb so much from the teams, they also motivate me to challenge current processes and ways of working with innovative and creative new ideas.

My advice for anyone considering an early career position within BAE Systems would be: don’t be afraid to ask questions – especially if you are struggling to understand complex processes. Your peers, mentors and colleagues in your placement teams are there to support you and are more than happy to take the time to help you understand things better.

I would recommend that any potential applicants do their research – you’ll learn how the programmes are set up and ultimately, understand what scheme is right for you. I would also recommend attending any open events. You’ll get the opportunity to speak to current apprentices and graduates, hear first-hand about their experiences and get the chance to ask any questions that you have.

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