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The journey of an engineering apprentice: An insider’s perspective

09 February 2024

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 February), Lucy Gale, a Digital Energy Degree Apprentice at Schneider Electric, offers a personal glimpse into the dynamic world of apprenticeships and the enriching opportunities they present.

Lucy Gale
Lucy Gale

Why did you choose Schneider Electric? 
I chose to join Schneider Electric because of the incredibly warm welcome I received right from the start. My interviewers, the onboarding team and everyone I have interacted with so far are so supportive and invested in helping me succeed. This caring culture focused on developing people was evident across the organisation.

Just as importantly, Schneider’s mission around energy sustainability and eco-friendly business practices resonated with my own values. Overall, the inclusive and flexible environment makes Schneider Electric a happy place to work. 

What have you been exposed to on your apprenticeship? What are you most proud of? 
So far, I’ve had the opportunity to experience placements in areas such as Field Services Engineering, the Connected Services Hub, Tendering, and System Architecture, and I’m currently working in a split between the Marketing and Sales teams. Cross-training with these diverse teams has helped me gain a well-rounded perspective on how our business operates. I truly enjoy the hands-on learning and customer interactions that my apprenticeship provides daily.

Collaborating with experienced professionals across the organisation has allowed me to continuously develop new skills. I’m grateful for the rewarding opportunities Schneider Electric has offered me so early in my career. 

Before joining Schneider Electric, I rarely travelled independently or stepped outside my comfort zone. But the apprenticeship has empowered me to embrace new experiences. Now, I regularly travel solo for work and say yes to every opportunity that comes my way. Pushing past my fears to take on challenges has led to self-growth. I am proud of myself looking back and seeing how far I’ve come in building my confidence. 

How have you balanced study and work at Schneider? 
Time management is key! I have found it helpful to prioritise tasks effectively, allocating time for my work responsibilities while ensuring I spend time studying. I organise my workload to make sure I am on top of everything. Try not to stress and remember you have a life outside of work!

It is important to make time to do things you enjoy too. Initially, organising time may seem challenging, but with practice, it becomes easier and a natural part of your routine. If you ever find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to seek support. Your managers are there to assist and offer guidance when it comes to achieving a work-life balance. They understand the importance of this and will be more than willing to help. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey! 

Why has an apprenticeship been a great option for you? 
Choosing to pursue a degree apprenticeship has proven to be an incredibly rewarding decision for me. It offers a unique blend of work and learning experiences, developing my personal and professional growth. Each day brings new and diverse tasks, which keeps things exciting and dynamic! The endless number of opportunities allows me to explore different areas and actively participate in interesting projects. An added perk is the fact that I am paid whilst studying! 

Why should others consider an apprenticeship and what would be your advice to them? 
My advice is to research and explore different apprenticeship programmes, considering your interests and career goals. Ensure the program aligns with your aspirations and offers a comprehensive learning experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals or mentors in the field to gather insights and advice. LinkedIn will be your best friend for this! Embrace the opportunity with a positive attitude, work hard and make the most of every learning experience that comes your way. Good luck!

Applications for Schneider's 2024 cohort will open soon. Register your interest here.

About the author
Lucy Gale, Digital Energy Degree Apprentice
Lucy started her journey in 2021. Within the programme, she is pursuing an ICT degree at Leeds Beckett University while gaining valuable on-the-job experience. She has a particular interest in smart buildings and helping existing buildings leverage digitalisation to achieve sustainability and net zero goals. Outside work, Lucy enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, taking her dog for long walks and staying active at the gym.

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