Today we sat down with Chloe Gebett, who is currently in her third year of her Degree Apprenticeship scheme at TFL. Take a look at her experience so far!
What is your role at TFL?
As a General Management Apprentice, I change placements every 6 months. I have been in some really interesting placements so far including running a busy zone-one station as a Customer Service Supervisor, Performance Analysis and Improvement for London Underground, and organising training for Train Operators in preparation for the introduction of a new signalling system. I have recently started a new placement in the Business Strategy team for Commercial Development which is focused on property.
I am also part of the TFL Graduate and Apprentice committee that represent and hold events for all Graduates and Apprentices.
What tasks do you do in your day-to-day job role?
In my previous placement I was responsible for organising the training for Train Operators so that they we’re prepared for the introduction of the new signalling system. On a day-to-day basis this involved keeping track of which Train Operators required the training and organising for those that needed to attend to be released from their duties. I also put together the joining instructions to give the Train Operators the details of when and when their course would be.
I was also involved with the implementation of the signalling system. This included monitoring the familiarisation trips that each Train Operator received with an Instructor on the new system and taking note when they signed off as confident to drive on their own. I was then responsible for sharing this information to those that were creating the plans for which trains we could run with which Train Operator on them and the support that they needed. Also, updating the management that were interested in the progress of this project.
On top of my placement work I am a Forum Lead on the Graduate and Apprentice Committee (GAC). This means that I organise events with guest speakers at senior management level from within TFL but also external. I recently ran an event alongside the Schemes Mental Health (SMH) team for World Mental Health day.
How many days per week are you studying towards your degree?
I attend and prepare for seminars every Friday. In the week I watch my lectures and complete the reading on each topic as well as completing my assignments.
What is your favourite part about working for TFL?
My favourite part of working for TFL as an General Management Apprentice is that I get exposure to so many different parts of the business through placements but also events and site visits. I like how supportive the company is and everyone is always wiling to teach me new things and help me with my development. I feel the work that I complete has a real benefit to the business which keeps me really motivated.
How did you find out about the degree apprenticeship opportunity?
I found out about the degree apprenticeship scheme through doing some research on the different types of apprenticeships and through looking at different company websites. I had also applied for traditional university, but I wasn’t too sure if that was the right option for me as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to study and I knew I enjoyed working.
I couldn’t really imagine myself studying full time but knew I wanted to work towards a degree. When I came across degree apprenticeships I knew that was something I wanted to do as I could work and study whilst being paid (and having my degree paid for). One of the things that was most appealing about the Degree Apprenticeship for me was that I would gain experience working as well as being able to continue my studies.
Can you still get involved in student life (e.g. events and societies)?
You can still get involved in student life but it can be slightly more difficult. I have attended several ‘Women in Business’ events ran by students at Pearson College London as they are on in the evening so I can attend after work. I found these events really interesting and valuable so I try and make time to attend.
What has been the highlight of your degree apprenticeship so far?
I have had lots of brilliant experiences so far in my degree apprenticeship and I have been given the opportunity to learn and experience lots about the company. The highlight of my apprenticeship overall is the responsibly I am given with my work and the support I have received to succeed. I really enjoy being able to deliver work that has an impact on the business.
What advice would you give to someone applying for apprenticeship schemes?
My advice would be to research the company and understand what they do and what the behaviours and competencies they look for in their people. I would also recommend attending careers fairs to meet apprentices currently doing the scheme so you can get a better understanding of what it involves. It would also be benefitial to see if there is a way that you can get some work experience in that company or one in a similar industry.
Also, prepare for several steps as part of the application process. Degree Apprenticeships are quite competitive so require several things from you, often including situational judgement tests, online interviews and assessment centres.
My final piece of advice if you’re not sure on your future path is to apply for everything that you are interested in and not narrow down your options too soon.