“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
Sir Henry Royce
Research and preparation are the magic ingredients that have helped Y13 student and Student Leader Salih Pervaiz to land one of the country’s most sought-after degree apprenticeships in software engineering at Rolls Royce‘s aerospace division.
Taking Rolls Royce founder Sir Henry Royce’s advice to ‘strive for perfection in everything you do,’ Salih really did his homework, both before applying for the apprenticeship and before his interview.
“My interviewers could see I was motivated and passionate and that I knew a lot about the company – I understood the values and culture, that kind of thing,” said Salih.
“You know, it’s not the cars area of the business I’m going into, but aerospace, and that’s something they test you on – to make sure you know the difference. I’d have been out of the process had I said I wanted to work with cars.”
Salih has been prepared since Year 9, he says, thanks to advice from his dad.
“My dad told me you need to have an idea of what you want to do in the future. So we spoke about the different things I could do. We talked about university, but I decided I don’t want to pay so much for that. I want to learn in a specific field, but also have the work experience. So a degree apprenticeship fits the criteria that I had. I looked at degree apprentices from about 12 different companies, so I was prepared with which companies I should apply for. I looked at PWC, KPMG, Vodafone, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes and Airbus, but Rolls Royce is my choice.”
Salih is grateful to the UTC staff who gave him advice, such as what kind of company information to research and how to prepare for interviews. He also says the work experience he amassed at school came into its own.
“I’ve done seven different work experiences through school. Through those I was able to do mock interviews, in which I was able to improve my technique. The work experience gave me a better idea of what companies look for, and also, what kind of thing I would be happy doing.”
Salih will start his degree apprenticeship in September. The first year will consist of one week at the University of Derby and the other week will be at work. From the second year it will be four days of work and then one day of university, until he completes his degree after four years.
Salih’s advice to those looking for a degree apprenticeship is, obviously, do your research.
“Research the kind of industry you want to go into, then research the companies themselves. By Year 13 have a prepared CV – go to your parents or teachers for feedback to improve it. Apply for lots of apprenticeships and be prepared to get rejected a lot. If you muck up an interview, learn from your mistake and improve for next time. Be resilient and you’ll get there.”