My name is Ammaarah and I’m a Fourth Year Chartered Management Apprentice at BAE Systems, working in the Shared Services business sector. Throughout my apprenticeship, I’ve had the opportunity to work across a variety of placements including in finance, HR, IT, early careers, education services and data analytics. I’m currently involved in Diversity & Inclusion – one of my favourite roles so far – where I am acting as a Project Manager to deliver a portfolio of work that supports the company with its goal of increasing the number of women in its workforce, including in senior and STEM-focused roles.
Doing an apprenticeship was the right decision for me
Doing an apprenticeship wasn’t my original plan; I was set on becoming a primary school teacher and had, therefore, mapped out my whole career path, including going to university. However, I spotted an opportunity to do some work experience with BAE Systems and at the time, I spoke to some apprentices who told me about their experiences and the benefits the programme had had for them – it completely changed my perspective!
Once I realised how much working suited me as a learner compared to classroom education, I knew an apprenticeship would offer the on the job learning experience I was looking for. The Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship was perfect for me, as it offered a degree in Business Management with Chartered Accreditation, whilst providing plenty of options for workplace experience.
Learning new skills
The placements have given me new skills, attributes and capabilities. Most importantly, it has transformed my confidence to the extent that I am now a completely different person to the one that started the apprenticeship. Speaking in group settings was definitely not something that I used to do naturally – I was more the type of person to blend into the background in meetings, but my placement managers helped me gradually develop this side of myself. I went on a journey from speaking in meetings, to making and eventually leading presentations, and then I even ended up hosting the BAE Systems Apprenticeship Awards – something I never would have fathomed doing before!
The growth I’ve experienced is all down to the amazing support network BAE Systems have in place. Last year, I achieved the highlight of my career so far, when I was recognised nationally as the Management, Legal and Professional Services Apprentice of the Year at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2021. I never could have done it without all the people behind me at BAE Systems who have supported my development and given me the opportunities to flourish.
Exploring new opportunities
There are many young people like myself who may have a set path for themselves in their head. My advice to them would be to fully consider all options and be open-minded to everything. Do your research, explore the opportunities available to you and most importantly, do what’s right for you. There’s an unthinkable number of opportunities to carve out your own path at BAE Systems – even now, I’m still surprised at how much there is on offer.