Camila may have discovered her passion for engineering later in life than many of her apprentice colleagues, but today she is one of our most determined and dedicated learners. After moving to the UK from Brazil, her apprenticeship is enabling her to gain qualifications and experience that will help her to accelerate her career in a new country. She is also passionate about inclusion and equal opportunities, and is the Vice-chair of the Women in Engineering Society’s (WES) Apprentice Board.
We talked to her about why she chose an apprenticeship, why she loves her job with Amazon, and where she intends to take her career next.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I am originally from Brazil, where I had trained first as an Occupational Health & Safety Nurse, and then a Health & Safety Engineer. However, when I moved to the UK, my Brazilian certificates were not recognised and I needed more qualifications and experience to gain an engineering position. This was frustrating but I was determined to fulfil my potential and to follow my passion. I found out than an apprenticeship would give me both the qualifications and experience that would enable me to move forward.
I am now a Level 3 Mechatronic Engineering Technician Apprentice with Amazon, and enjoying every moment of my journey. Apprenticeships are an amazing opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Did you have an idea of what an apprenticeship would involve before you came to the MTC?
I had some ideas, because I’m very curious about career pathways and so I had done some research. But the training at the MTC has exceeded my expectations! I feel lucky to be studying here. The knowledge and experience I’ve gained as part of my Amazon apprenticeship is beyond anything I had imagined. It’s an amazing opportunity.
What did you learn at the MTC?
The MTC teaches us about every aspect of being an engineer, not just about technical engineering subjects, but also how to behave, speak and act as an engineering professional.
When I first left Brazil, I didn’t speak any English and took private lessons so that I could study here. Today, I learn new English vocabulary every single day, and of course I’m studying all sorts of technical subjects. These include mechanical principles, maths for engineers, electrical installation, electronics, hand fitting, measurement and quality control, technical drawing, learning about different types of material and their structure and behaviours, fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics), mechanical assembly and engines, milling & turning (complex machines), health and safety and respective laws, business improvement, efficiency and communication skills. I’ve learned so much!
How has the apprenticeship programme been beneficial to you and your career?
It benefits me every day. I’m learning the language and meeting great professional engineers, and the MTC team work really hard developing all the skills that will benefit us personally and professionally. Career wise, I’m surrounded by high standards and knowledgeable engineers whose experiences I am learning from.
What would you say are the benefits and what advice would you offer to those looking to apply for an apprenticeship?
Everyone is different and learns differently, and MTC is a place everyone is made to feel comfortable and included. The MTC team supports apprentices’ mental health and wellbeing, and feels a safe and secure place to learn.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?
I always recommend apprenticeship to others, especially young people who are still discovering what they’d like to do. An engineering apprenticeship offers an incredibly broad range of possibilities.