Hello. My name is Emma Beauchamp, I am 23 and I currently live in Newcastle. My day job is a Technical Sales Engineer and I’m the YAAN Chair for the North East.
My apprenticeship journey began at college, where I found out about my apprenticeship through a meeting with a career’s advisor. (Which is partly why I am so passionate about promoting apprenticeships: it’s one of the best decisions I made, and I found out about it only by chance!)
Throughout school and college, I didn’t really know a great deal about apprenticeships, and if anything, held the same misconceptions that a lot of people still have today – that they are all either skilled hands-on engineering roles or something people did if they couldn’t follow the traditional route of school, college and then university.
Once learning more, I applied for the Commercial Apprenticeship position in the summer of 2016 and started with the company in September of that year. I then enrolled on a three-year Chartered Managers Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) in May 2017, with Teesside University and the Chartered Management Institute.
I had no idea what my apprenticeship was going to entail. No one I knew had completed one, nor had I ever spoken to anyone about them before. I expected to do only minor work within each department that I spent time in. However, I became involved in exciting and important projects whilst spending a lot of my time experiencing real roles in each department. I spent time in seven different departments, including Production Control, Operations, Quality Management Systems, Commercial/Sales, Human Resources, Purchasing and Finance. I even got to visit Ford in Valencia during one placement!
The CMDA I was enrolled on involved several modules around Business and Management and worked in harmony with the departments I spent time in at Gestamp. For example, I remember how useful it was studying the Business Finance module whilst I was also spending time in the Finance department for my apprenticeship.
I was offered a permanent role at Gestamp a couple years earlier than planned and became a Trainee Account Engineer in 2018 working in the Global Sales department. I then got a new role with a new company in 2020, and I am now the Technical Sales Engineer for Northumbria Optical Coatings, where we manufacture Infrared Optical Filters and Coatings for a variety of industries and applications. Through my apprenticeship I met so many people who have had such a big impact on who I have become and how I experienced my journey so I will always be extremely grateful to every team member and Manager who gave up their time to teach me, answer my (many, many…) questions or those who ended up becoming informal mentors to me. Every colleague met me with just as much respect as anyone else in the department and always treated me as though I could add real value to the team. I enjoyed every element of my apprenticeship and feel lucky to have been able to develop the relationships I have, and to have the experiences and opportunities I was given.