Kelly Monaghan

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I joined the Apprenticeship scheme at BMW straight after my GCSEs. When weighing-up my options between an Apprenticeship and A Levels (then university), I was not certain that the A Level route would lead onto a job. As a result of this I leaned more towards the Apprenticeship route.

Additionally, I knew that with an Apprenticeship at BMW many opportunities accompany it. This includes on-the-job training which is invaluable as you start your early career path with the correct business mind-set; it gives the business an opportunity to shape you at the beginning of your career to meet their requirements. This alone makes you a desirable candidate for future job prospects.

Also, this Apprenticeship allowed me to carry out/obtain meaningful qualifications which have relevance to the job that I am training to do. It is fairly common that people obtain qualifications but have no idea how to apply these skills. 

How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

Initially, I was made aware of the opportunities available with a BMW Apprenticeship through my Dad as he works for the company but had no real understanding of what each Apprenticeship involved. I then participated in the Girls Go Technical Programme which is offered by the company to encourage female participants into the company; this is the point where I took particular interest in engineering and knew that it was what I wanted to do.

What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?

The most important thing that I have gained as an Apprentice at BMW is ‘soft skills’. This is something that has developed greatly during my Apprenticeship as you have to mature and be able to communicate with different people at different levels within a business – with this my confidence increased greatly.  

Also, doing an Apprenticeship enabled me to learn how to manage and run different events. I have quite a lot of experience in getting involved in careers and recruitment events within the business. With this I have improved my organisational skills, in terms of organising people, equipment, timings/agendas which is something that could be very beneficial in future job roles.

Additionally, managing time effectively is another skill that I have gained from my Apprenticeship at BMW. This is due to the fact that I have had to learn how to balance work and home life, but also learning how to prioritise different things. Also, time-keeping is another thing that has been enforced greatly as you do not feel the impact of this in a school environment. Within our business, we were told that ‘being on time is late’ with this in mind everyone is always at work early and is ready to work at their start time – rather than aiming to arrive at this point.  

Learned a huge array of practical skills, including the following:

  • Machining (turning and milling)
  • Fluid Power
  • PLC programming

What do you plan to do next?

In the future I plan to use all of the skills that I gained as an Apprentice to continue to push myself and progress with a career at BMW.

How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?

I feel that my Apprenticeship at BMW opens up a huge amount of doors for me early in my career. Due to the fact that I started at a young age, it has enabled the business to shape me in a way that makes me a suitable employee for the requirements of the business. Also, as an Apprentice at BMW, I believe that I will have gained a suitable skill set to be able to carry out the job role I intend on doing but have also developed self-motivation to continue to push myself in the future by continually growing my skillset, knowledge and experience.

What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?

People tend to think that the only way to become successful is doing A Levels and completing a degree, whereas, I completely disagree. This is due to the fact that as an Apprentice you learn so many valuable skills, gain qualifications whilst being paid and come away with work experience (which in itself is invaluable). With this in mind, I would say to a young person to not allow themselves to be discouraged by the stigma attached to being an Apprentice. Once you become an Apprentice the sky is your limit. Therefore, when making the decision that determines your future, ensure that you have weighed-up all of your options fully and do not allow your opinions to be influenced by other people.

What’s your top tip?

My top tip would include taking every opportunity that comes your way and ensure that you make the most of it.

How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

I feel that it is a fantastic opportunity to spread an awareness of the opportunities available for Apprentices. But, to also advertise what it is that I do and what BMW offers.