Apprentice Blog: From Apprentice To Group Sales Manager
As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017, we are bringing you adi employee stories from former apprentices who have ‘risen to the top’ to learn more about how they got involved in engineering via the Apprenticeship route. In today’s blog, we speak to James Smith, Group Sales Manager who began his career as a Technical Mechanical Engineering Apprentice.
What apprenticeship did you do and how long did it take to complete?
Technical Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship which was a mixture of work based training/competencies and 1 day per week at college/university. In total the apprenticeship took 4 years to complete.
What made you decide to do an Apprenticeship?
From an early age I always enjoyed problem solving, from dismantling new toys to understand how they worked to upgrading everything possible on bikes, etc….I also knew I didn’t want to take a 100% academic route when I left school at 16, so an engineering apprenticeship was a natural route for me.
During your apprenticeship what kinds of projects did you support and what type of work did you undertake on a daily basis?
My apprenticeship was extremely varied with time being spent in every department of the business, from operating machines in the manufacturing area, designing and drawing solutions in the design office, looking at manufacturing capacity and efficiency improvements in the production office to selling the products and solutions in the commercial office. I was lucky to experience so many areas of a manufacturing business during my apprenticeship and that knowledge of how different departments within a manufacturing business work together has been invaluable as my career has developed.
How has completing an Apprenticeship benefited you in your career so far?
Completing my apprenticeship has provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge in the manufacturing sector, along with formally recognised engineering qualifications and first-hand experience, that I have been able to apply constantly throughout my career to date, to the benefit of customers and my career development.
What is your role now after completing an Apprenticeship?
My current role is Group Sales Manager responsible for the introduction of adi Group service lines and where these can benefit our current and prospective customers.
What advice would you give to youngsters looking into engineering apprenticeships?
An engineering apprenticeship is a great choice as the number of opportunities available (from different roles, different industry sectors and different companies to work with) is vast and everyday will provide a new exciting challenge to overcome, which is the heart of engineering.