In the beginning, I studied at Falmouth Secondary School and enjoyed PE, physics, engineering and media studies. These topics really suited my learning style of observing a process rather than getting involved and doing it.
Before starting my apprenticeship, my schooling was a rollercoaster. At school, I really struggled with my confidence and dyslexia, which wasn’t very well supported, leading me to doubt my intelligence at times.
After studying, it was time to start in the workplace, and I was influenced by family and friends who were already working with Watson-Marlow. I was looking for work experience, but when I first approached the company, they said it’s wasn’t something they currently provided. However, I persevered, and after phone calls and emails with the HR department, they agreed to set up a work experience position.
This opportunity increased my interest in engineering and led to me being offered an apprenticeship within the tubing department as a setter operator in 2016. After a year, I moved into the machine shop. During this journey, I enjoyed learning how to problems solving and improve processes to get better results. This included anything from designing new fixtures to cycle time improvements on Computer Numerical Controlled programmes.
I’m now in a new junior role within the PSO (Products, systems and optimization) department which encompasses all my favourite aspects of my apprenticeship while also studying for my Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering with (?)h Watson-Marlow. Without my apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be there, and it has given me vital skills and the confidence to do things I never thought I would be doing.
Being in a large company like Watson-Marlow presents so many opportunities in terms of different careers and the support and funding they offer that enables me to constantly push myself to keep learning and improving. Sometimes, companies can feel overwhelming and disjointed.
Years later, I can proudly say my apprenticeship was an accelerator for my career. My next steps are to progress to a PSO Engineer and lead my own projects, with the vision of becoming a Chartered Engineer and eventually a Lead Engineer.
My advice for people considering an apprenticeship is to dive into the unknown. I also learn to stop overthinking my decisions. When I was not sure, I asked questions even if they seemed basic, and then I embraced failure. This may sound obvious, but learn from your mistakes and have a real passion for what you want to do. Exciting and engaging hobbies outside of work are great ways to demonstrate your interest in the subject to employers. My hobbies better reflect my ability and passion than getting top grades.
Globally, the most important lesson I took away from my apprenticeship was the importance of soft skills. Communication and teamwork are vital in any company, especially Watson-Marlow, where they are some of its core values. I believe this made me a better person.
Daniel Rutter’s Apprenticeship Journey