Before starting my Apprenticeship, I studied at Falmouth Secondary School. During this time, I enjoyed subjects like P.E., physics, engineering and media studies - mainly because they really suited my learning style of observing a process then getting involved and doing it. At school, I really struggled with both my confidence and my dyslexia, which wasn’t very well supported, and led me to doubt my intelligence at times.
Year 10 came around, and work experience was being discussed and encouraged throughout the school. That was when I thought I would get in contact with Watson-Marlow. Many of my family friends worked there and always sung the company’s praises. After phoning Watson-Marlow, I was told they hadn’t previously offered work experience and it wasn’t something they currently provided. However, I persevered, and after phone calls and emails with the HR department, they agreed to set up a work experience position for me.
This work experience increased my interest in engineering and led to me being offered an apprenticeship within the tubing department as a setter operator in 2016. After completing a year in this department, I moved into the machine shop, and my interest in this field led me to stay there until 2021.
The most important lesson I took away from my apprenticeship was the importance of soft skills. Communication and teamwork are vital in any company, especially Watson-Marlow where they are some of the company’s core values. I also learnt to push myself into the unknown – I stopped over-thinking my decisions, I asked questions even if they seemed basic, and I embraced failure. I believe this made me a better person.
The areas of my apprenticeship that I enjoyed most were problem solving and improving processes to get better results. This included anything from designing new fixtures, cycle time improvements on Computer Numerical Controlled programmes, and my on-going STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) work within the local community.
If I hadn’t done my apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. I’m now in a new junior role within the PSO (Products, systems and optimization) department which encompasses all my favourite aspects of my apprenticeship while also studying for my Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering which Watson-Marlow has funded for me. The apprenticeship has given me vital skills and the confidence to do things I never thought I would be doing.
Being in a large company like Watson-Marlow presents so many opportunities, not only in terms of different careers, but also in the support and funding they offer that enables me to constantly push myself to keep learning and improving. Large companies can feel overwhelming and disjointed, but Watson-Marlow has always felt like a big family. Everyone is there to support you and make you feel like you’re a part of something special, which is great for someone who is just coming out of school and trying to find their feet.
I’m enjoying my junior role within the ever-expanding PSO team which deals with all of Watson-Marlow’s current and legacy products, systems and explores ways to optimise products and deal with engineering-related change. My career goals are to progress to a PSO Engineer and lead my own projects, with the vision of becoming a Chartered Engineer and eventually a Lead Engineer. I’m also committed to continue supporting local schools and encouraging future generations to take up STEAM related careers in the future.
My advice for people considering an apprenticeship is to dive into the unknown and not to be scared of failure. Learn from your mistakes and have a real passion for what you want to do. Exciting and engaging hobbies outside of work are great ways to demonstrate your interest for the subject to employers – such hobbies better reflect my ability and passion than getting top grades. If you do an apprenticeship, you will not only gain great skills, but you will also make life-long friends.
For further information, contact:
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Jasmin Shearan / Deborah Cockerill / Darya Shulakova
Sciad Communications Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 3405 7892
Notes to Editors
About Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group is an award-winning, global leader in fluid management technology and for over 60 years has engineered components and systems for customers in the food processing and handling, pharmaceutical and industrial markets. The company is part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a FTSE 100 company. Learn more at www.wmftg.com or @WMFTG_news.