Savanna Gunnell

Apprentice at RLC

Meet Savanna. Savanna joined RLC as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.

Age:

19

School:

Castle Rushen High School

Background:

My interest in engineering was sparked by my Dad who has a background mechanics, so owns all the tools at home. As a result, I often enjoyed helping him out when I was little and getting involved with learning how to use the tools!

At GCSE level I studied Geography, ICT, Art and Engineering. I had the option of taking engineering in school whilst it was available and I knew then I had a flair for it as I proudly achieved high grades!

Apprenticeship Training:

I’m now in my first year of apprenticeship training, after completing two years at college doing the Level 3 National Certificate. I chose the more academic route than Craft (which focuses on a practical-lead course structure).

How did you find out about the course?

I was actually doing my Year 10 work experience at Swagelok when they told me about the course, as I had shown that I was really interested in following the apprenticeship path. I then attended the Open Day at the college and spoke with students who were on the course at the time, and that’s when I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do and applied for the course!

Previous work experience:

I undertook my summer placements during the college course with RLC, Strix and Triumph. These summer placements really helped to give an insight into what the different places were like and helped me decide where I wanted to apply for my apprenticeship – I had built a really good relationship with RLC during these weeks.

How are you finding the apprenticeship course?

I particularly love working on programming and CAD work. I didn’t really enjoy this kind of work originally when I was studying it during GCSE – however, now I love it and it’s what I enjoy the most, and would like to be able to specialise in it further!

What has been most challenging for you so far?

Learning to use the machines and the college course: There is a big step up from the initial tuition in manual machines to the technical-lead programme, learning something completing new is always going to be challenging. To start, learning new programming language for the technical machine requirements has been tricky but worth it!

Have you got any advice to share?

Give everything a go – as mentioned, I wasn’t keen on programming in school, but I’m glad it didn’t rule it out as in the new working environment it’s completely changed for me and now the career path I want to pursue!

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