Meet Jessica Rawstron, one of our Smart Energy Experts as she tells us how she has built her career in engineering and how she was inspired to take the next step in becoming an apprentice with British Gas. Read on to find out more about Jessica’s background and what he does now…
What did your journey look like before your apprenticeship?
Before becoming an apprentice at British Gas, I travelled to the USA on a footballing scholarship, studying civil engineering. Joining a scholarship had always been a childhood dream of mine, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance. It enabled me to merge my two loves - football and engineering. When I returned from the USA, I signed for Burnley FC Women’s first team which was incredible. I’ve now left to pursue other footballing opportunities with the FA Women’s National League and focus on the next phase of my career.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my Dad. He’s specialised in the gas field for many years and when I was thinking about how I could apply my existing skills in civil engineering with what my Dad has taught me, I could think of nothing better than an apprenticeship. The next step in my journey was to look for an apprenticeship opportunity that was right for me. My Grandad knew this was my dream, so he saved a newspaper for me that had advertised ‘Female engineers wanted!’. I then emailed British gas showing interest and applied when the job vacancy came up.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
At first, my biggest challenge was building my self-belief and confidence. I was nervous about starting a new career. The learning experience is varied – which I enjoy. A day in the academy is totally different from a day working in the field with our customers. The academy is where all the training takes place.
How have you found your apprenticeship so far?
The week tends to be split up in terms of classroom training and time in the workshop. We all have mentors and working with mine is so important, it allows me to put into practice what I’ve learnt in the classroom. My mentor guides and advises me throughout the day, during each job, making sure we are providing the best service for our customers. I’m a big believer in reflecting on what you’ve done, so that you can improve in the future, so at the end of each day, we discuss my strengths and areas for improvement, and each day I get one step closer to reaching my goal of becoming fully qualified.
Why did you choose British Gas?
As the weeks of my apprenticeship have passed, my self-belief and confidence has grown. This is down to the support of my colleagues, as well as my determination to succeed. Every day is different. What I love most about my role is providing a service that not only means repairing and replacing smart meters, but one where I can be myself - a bubbly, caring, smiling face, representing our business and having a positive impact on our customers’ overall experience with British Gas.
What would your top piece of advice be?
If you’re thinking of applying, I’d say just do it! It might seem very daunting at first with all the information and training but, as the weeks go by, everything starts to fit into place and starts to make sense. Have the confidence in yourself that you can do it and, I promise, you’ll never look back.