HORIBA MIRA Apprenticeship Q&A

Emma Harris -  EMC Apprentice

Emma joined the team in 2014 and is currently studying for her Level 4 HNC in Electronic Engineering at HORIBA MIRA.

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I think the opportunity to learn whist working is extremely valuable. It gives me the chance to further develop my skills whilst also gaining experience in the work place. Once completed, I hope my apprenticeship will enable me to stand out in the future as although I plan on gaining a degree, it will be backed up by a 4 year apprenticeship and a HNC.

Why did you choose to do your apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA?
With HORIBA MIRA being such a large organisation, that is continually expanding, I felt as though they would be able to help me grow and develop all the skills I need to become a great engineer. HORIBA MIRA also has an excellent reputation in the automotive and engineering industries, therefore I knew if I were to embark on an apprenticeship there, I would be learning from some of the best people in the business.

How did you prepare for the application and interview process?
There were two stages in my preparation.

Firstly I think it’s very important to ensure you impress your potential employer by brushing up on your knowledge of the company and the particular position you are applying for; I researched HORIBA MIRA as a business, the department I was applying for and looked further into what their daily tasks and job roles involved. Then, when it came to specific questions, for example regarding EMC, I had some knowledge of what to discuss.

The second phase of my preparation was to make sure the apprenticeship I was applying for was right for me. I made a list of key things I wanted to know about the company and came up with a number of questions to ask in order to find out if HORIBA MIRA was a company I wanted work for. I then memorised these questions, ready for the group interview.

What made you interested in choosing engineering as a career?
My favourite subjects at school were Maths, Art and Physics, which then led me onto the path of engineering. During my previous studies, I became extremely interested in the content of my Electrical and Electronic Engineering HNC course, as I felt it reflected the subjects I enjoy the most. Deciding on the particular area of engineering I wanted a career in - Electrical or Mechanical engineering - was a particularly difficult decision for me. I decided that although I enjoyed the theoretical side of Mechanical engineering, I thrived on both the theoretical and practical elements of Electrical engineering, therefore chose this as my career focus.

What do you enjoy most about working at HORIBA MIRA?
The people I work with (Engineers and Engineer-Technicians) are continually helping me to learn and develop, giving me new challenges on a daily basis. I believe everything I am tasked with is to expand my knowledge and it truly makes me feel I am a valued member of the team.

What is an average day like for you at HORIBA MIRA?
Every day is completely different, which is partly why I enjoy working at HORIBA MIRA so much. One day I could be testing the RF Immunity of a sports car and the next I could be putting a Pickering system back together – I love the variety this apprenticeship gives me.

What has been the most beneficial aspect of this apprenticeship for you?
I believe learning how to work alongside others, as part of a team, has been really beneficial to me. Everyone not only works together but they also support you individually and your learning. I also believe the HNC course provided by HORIBA MIRA has been extremely beneficial to me as, overall, it is going to help me progress myself and my career.

Is there anything about doing an apprenticeship at HORIBA MIRA that surprised you?
The support provided by everyone I work with actually surprised me a lot. It’s great to know that you’re part of a team that believes in you and wants to help your grow into the best possible engineer.

Where would you like your career to go from here?
I would like to continue to expand my knowledge in the field of engineering and hopefully progress at HORIBA MIRA. I do, however, want to stay technical with my progression and would like to do a Maths degree in the future – most likely as an OU course, which will allow me to continue to work and learn at the same time, similarly to what I am doing now.

What advice would you give to a young person considering an apprenticeship?
I think the best piece of advice I can offer a young person is to make sure the apprenticeship you’re applying for is in the field you want to specialise in. I think it’s really important to make sure during the initial interview stages that, as well as impressing the potential employer, you make sure what they are offering impresses you. Overall, I would say a positive attitude and a real willingness to work hard is essential. This will guarantee you get the most out of your opportunity.