Meet the Apprentice – Tamara Sommers
Tamara Sommers is studying the HNC Aeronautical Engineering course and the Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) course through her apprenticeship with British Airways.
Here she talks about how she got started, how she balances studying with work, and why she would recommend this route – having dropped out of university.
“The school had pushed me towards doing something completely different at university and I didn’t enjoy it. So I dropped out and thought ‘what do I actually want to do?’
“The answer to that was engineering. My issue was that I never took physics at school, I did chemistry and biology instead, so I thought I’ll need to start at HNC level and work my way up, or try get an apprenticeship.
“I’d always been interested in aircraft, particularly military aircraft, so I started looking at apprenticeships in the aeronautical engineering industry. I applied for British Airways and was successful, but if I hadn’t got the apprenticeship then I already had a place secured on the HNC Aeronautical Engineering course.
“I’m now doing the HNC and the PEO at the same time. We do the HNC on Monday and Tuesday, work in the hanger on a Wednesday, and the PEO on Thursday and Friday. In semester one it was just the HNC on Monday/Tuesday, and working in the hanger for the rest of the week.
“An apprenticeship just makes so much sense. To take what you’re learning in class and be able to put it into practice is just so much better. It builds your confidence knowing that if you cannot understand something one week, you can take a look at it at work, and come in the next week understanding it.
“I’d 100% recommend an apprenticeship. Companies are looking for experience and if you’re attending work while you’re at college then it gives you that experience. You get the best of both worlds.”