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Aaron Vidal

Current student

Headshot - Aaron Vidal, apprentice

Aaron is on our Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Degree Apprenticeship. With a passion for design and making things, he saw the apprenticeship as a perfect opportunity to work alongside his degree.

Tell us a little bit about your background and why you decided to undertake an apprenticeship

I was born and raised in South London, fortunate enough to have family who inspired and encouraged my passion for design and making. After A-levels, I intended to study design engineering at another university. However, to avoid having my first year interrupted by Covid, I chose to defer my offer until 2021.

During this period, I discovered the degree apprenticeship with Airbus. What initially seemed like a difficult decision (I even drew up a pros and cons list) became much clearer when I realised that I would be given the opportunity to gain four years of work experience at Airbus, a fully funded BEng in electronic engineering, and a salary.

While I appreciate the importance of formal education, I believe that in engineering, work experience with the right company is highly valuable. If I had chosen the standard university path, I would be in the same position as many of my friends now – competing for placement year spots or summer internships. To that end, I view my decision to pursue a degree apprenticeship as an investment in my future.

What were your personal goals on entering the apprenticeship?

I’ve always held aspirations of working in engineering/technology and a company like Airbus is a massive part of that space. Speaking of space, it’s such a technologically diverse industry comprised of many disciplines - it was my hope that working at Airbus would expose me to these different areas.

One of the driving factors for me getting into engineering was STEM outreach. It was another aim of mine to get involved where I could, so I might help facilitate the same wonder that inspired me to pursue engineering.

How has the apprenticeship moved you towards achieving those goals?

I have been given fantastic exposure to various aspects and sectors of the engineering field. Getting hands-on with real-world projects has not only expanded my theoretical knowledge but also equipped me with crucial practical skills, driving me closer to becoming an accomplished engineer. Airbus has created an environment where I can work alongside and learn from other accomplished engineers, enriching my knowledge.

As for outreach, I’ve taken every opportunity. Participating in events has afforded me the ability to interact with students, educators, and other professionals passionate about STEM.

How has the apprenticeship benefitted you in the workplace?

The ability to learn theory at university and then being able to apply it practically at work is invaluable. For example, I learned about amplifiers one day and the next I was at work constructing circuits with them. Being able to see the result of the theory in context really helps ground and solidify your knowledge. I am keen to further enhance my practical skills and theoretical understanding to become an accomplished engineer in the near future.