Hi, my name is Stelios Charalambous and I am a building services design engineer apprentice working at Crofton Consulting. I am currently doing a 5-year apprenticeship in building services design. I have a day release from Crofton Consulting to study at London Southbank University and the other 4 days are spent gaining valuable work experience in the office.
I have always enjoyed designing and creative activities. My interest were in drawing, designing and making my ideas come to life. Engineering and design work was my obvious avenue for a career. Engineering allows me to put my creativity into finding solutions and explore my imagination. My journey began when I took a BTEC in engineering at college which reinforced my enjoyment in the world of engineering.
Why I chose an apprenticeship
Whilst completing my BTEC which included many practical activities, I discovered that I learnt more when I applied practical activities to the learning. When I graduated from college, I realised that my learning was greater when applied in practice to support the theory. I researched into avenues of career development that would follow this method of learning. In my mind, the structure of a degree apprenticeship would allow me to develop my knowledge working to my strengths. This is the reason why I chose an apprenticeship; I learn as I do whilst working alongside professionals who provide me with invaluable support and a wealth of experience and knowledge.
During the time I have been working at Crofton Consulting, they have provided me with fantastic mentoring from professional colleagues in the industry, work-related skills, work responsibilities and life skills such as being punctual and planning. I would not get this if I was doing a full-time degree and so it confirmed, 4 months into my apprenticeship, that I had made the right decision.
The Engineering Development Trust (EDT)
During my time with EDT I have been to two master classes which are presentational skills and negotiation skills. These are both valuable life skills which I will use more as I progress in my career. I appreciate the support that the EDT team has given me so far and I hope to inspire more people to looking into EDT’s opportunities.
Why I would recommend an apprenticeship
Doing an apprenticeship is a great experience. I’m learning how to create good relationships in a working environment while learning about my future career at LSBU. Believe me, it’s not an easy journey but I can see how much this will benefit my future. Gaining experience on small roles in the environment where I would like to work in the future helps me delivering far more accurate results during my exams.