We recently caught up with Milly for a chat about her apprenticeship
What is your current role?
I am now a qualified Technician in the Satellite Communications industry.
What prompted you to apply for an apprenticeship?
I found the opportunity online and I had always had an interest in the technical side of things. When I read up on the company and industry, I was very intrigued as it wasn’t something I had heard of before nor had any experience in. However, the role sounded appealing, and I believed that my interests and strengths would fit well in the role and the sector of tech in which my company resides.
What were the biggest learnings / lessons from your time as an apprentice?
The theoretical element was the biggest thing I learned from the course side of the apprenticeship (so the fundamentals behind networking, security and procedures). During my time as an apprentice for Milexia, I learned so much that it’s hard to pinpoint the biggest takeaway. There are of course wiring skills, as well as the soft skills needed to produce products and results to the appropriate level, no matter the circumstances.
What happened next?
I received a full-time position when I completed my apprenticeship and am becoming an established member of the team with my own projects. In terms of qualifications, the next step that we’re looking into is enrolling on a Level 4 Software Development apprenticeship with the ITP and GK Apprenticeships to continue my progression. This will also help to fulfil the requirement that we have for this role within the business.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
So far, my proudest moments are participating in a training course for some of our customers abroad on a set of systems that I worked very closely on. As well as participating in the recent GovSat conference in Luxembourg. There are also lots of individual projects that I am very proud of both for the work and the challenges that I had to overcome to complete them.
You’re working in the satellite industry in the UK, why did you want to work in this area and do you think the UK space sector is an exciting industry to be in?
It wasn’t one I was particularly familiar with when I joined this company. However, I had known of people who worked in it and the way they spoke of it definitely inspired me. The technicality and variety of the industry is something that I adore. There are so many sectors within it and different branches and solutions to explore making it my favourite and most exciting industry that I’ve worked in. The sheer amount of innovation and challenges within the satcom industry means its ever-changing and there is always room for exploration, growth and improvement.
Are you seeing many other females working in your sector in apprenticeships?
Within my day-to-day role, I haven’t, although I have limited interactions with those outside of my current company and our customers. There are a few established women that I am close to within the sector who have helped me along the way. When I attended a conference recently, I met many others within the industry although I am unsure if they went through the apprenticeship route.
What can be done to encourage more females into STEM roles?
Further encouraging them in schools with after school programmes, STEM activity days and career talks. Information regarding sectors like these and the opportunities they can lead to needs to be more readily available. As I mentioned, I had no real idea of this role or the industry until I applied so it’s hard to go into / explore an industry or sector with little to no knowledge of it to determine whether you’d enjoy it.
How has the ITP supported you on your journey?
They have been amazing. From being on hand if I ever needed help to making the whole process smooth for both me and the company to become qualified as quickly and easily as possible. My tutor was phenomenal and helped me throughout the course more than I can ever thank him for. Let alone the support and insight he provided. The same can be said for Lauren, the Apprenticeship Coordinator and Charlotte, the Head of Apprenticeships, who were again phenomenal with the support and assistance they provided throughout the process.
What would you say to other young people considering an apprenticeship?
It’s an amazing way to get into a more niche industry and allows you to grow within a company and earn money while gaining qualifications. I can only speak highly of them especially if the traditional routes are not for you or you’d like a leg up into a specific industry.
How about employers who may never have hired an apprentice, what are the business benefits to them?
You can train and mould them into the ideal employee for your company and they can offer a new perspective that may benefit projects. You can also watch them grow and flourish into their role and how they progress within the company.
What’s next for you?
I am very happily remaining with Milexia UK as a Technician - continuing to learn and gain responsibilities within that role. I am also looking to begin a Level 4 qualification in Software Development in the coming months with The ITP and GK Apprenticeships whilst retaining my current role and possibly expanding into the occasional software aspect of projects.