Sophie Ferguson, 20, loves to travel and one day she’d love to work for National Grid in the US, but for now she’s enjoying grabbing every opportunity to learn as she earns.
Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m an Apprentice Project Supervisor at National Grid’s gas pipeline maintenance centre.
My friends can’t believe the amount of travelling that comes with my job – two weeks ago I was in Perthshire and in the summer I was in Somerset. The company really looks after its apprentices and I’m put up in hotels near the sites and near the Birmingham office. I’d been away so much that lockdown was a chance to catch up with my sister and mum while I was working from home near Liverpool.
Eventually I’d love to work for the company in America. I love travel and that opportunity could be really exciting.
Sometimes I can be the only woman on a site, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I’m not treated any differently – everyone is just pushing each other to do the best they can. I’m enthusiastic and I always ask questions. The women higher up in the company are an inspiration to me and I belong to WiNG (Women in National Grid), which hold events and sends opportunities for us to get involved in.
I feel passionate about encouraging more women to pursue careers in engineering and apply for engineering apprenticeships.
One of the mantras you’re taught on the apprenticeship is to say yes and grab every opportunity thrown to you. I’ve been asked to do a presentation to the Gas Transmission team, with over 300 people invited. I know it will be a good experience but I’m still terrified.
When I was invited to film a video to show people what it’s like to work at National Grid, I was anxious at first but it turned out to be great fun. I feel passionate about encouraging more women to pursue careers in engineering and apply for engineering apprenticeships.
Originally I’d planned to study chemical engineering at Sheffield University, before I discovered this apprenticeship and found out how well-structured it was for career development. This way I still have the academic side with two-week blocks of learning at Aston University, Birmingham, but I’m also learning on the job with hands-on experience. It’s the best of both worlds.
I love working for such a forward-thinking company that can make a real impact on the environment and learning something new every day.