Manufacturing apprentices share their success stories.
Apprentices: Meghan Savage and Kyle Tobin
Location: Cobham in Exeter, NH
Community College: Great Bay Community College
Meghan and Kyle are two out of thirteen apprentices participating in the ApprenticeshipNH program at Cobham. They are precision assemblers at the Exeter-based company and are working towards the completion of an apprenticeship that consists of 228 hours of classroom instruction through Great Bay Community College and 3,000 hours of on-the-job training. Classroom instruction takes place during the work-day and is taught onsite at Cobham’s facility.
The Cobham apprentices recently sat down with us to tell us a bit more about what their apprenticeship experience has been like thus far.
What made you decide to join the ApprenticeshipNH program?
Meghan: I came to Cobham for an interview and a tour and got to learn to more about their apprenticeship program, and it sounded like a great opportunity.
Kyle: Prior to joining the program, I had been out of work for about six months and out of school for about a year. I went to school to study Information Technology and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a career path I saw myself pursuing. What made me most want to participate in the apprenticeship was that I’m familiar with Cobham; my father also works here.
What have you found to be most helpful during your apprenticeship experience?
Meghan: I think going back and forth between time in class and time training on-the-job was the most helpful for me. It gave me an opportunity to practice what I was learning in class in a real-world, hands-on environment. I was able to better understand the material that way.
Kyle: The other people that I went through the apprenticeship program with were really helpful. If someone in the class didn’t quite grasp the content, the rest of the group was quick to help out.
Is there anything in particular that stands out? A favorite moment?
Meghan: My favorite part of the program has been spending time in class with my fellow apprentices, getting to learn together and interact with people from different departments in the company. It helped to broaden my relationships throughout the business.
Kyle: When we completed the classroom instruction component of the apprenticeship, I thought it was really nice how much time and effort the company took into celebrating and recognizing us for completing it.
What kinds of qualities do you think it takes to be successful in the ApprenticeshipNH program?
Meghan: It’s really important that you be open-minded and keep encouraging yourself to work hard and gain as much information as you can from the program.
Kyle: It takes perseverance. The first week I was here was really hard – the class seemed to be moving really fast and I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep up.
Why did you choose this career path? What inspired you?
Meghan: I’ve always been a very hands-on learner. When I was in high school I did sign language for four years, and I also participated in the welding program. I realized that the trades are so important and that people are needed to work in those types of jobs. I thought this would be a really great opportunity to keep doing the same kind of hands-on work.
Kyle: Both my father and grandfather worked in manufacturing, so I come from a long line of manufacturers and wanted to keep up that family history.
What have you learned about yourself as Cobham apprentices and what advice would you give to others?
Meghan: I’ve always known that I don’t ask enough questions, and this program has helped me gain the confidence to do so. My advice to someone else would be to stay open-minded, and ask as many questions as you can.
Kyle: I learned how adaptable I could be. I didn’t see myself as the kind of person who could deal with pressure, but going through this program I’ve learned to get better at it. My advice would be to approach the opportunity with an open mind and ask yourself, “What have you go to lose?” You’ve got everything to gain, and nothing to lose.
If you could describe your experience in the ApprenticeshipNH program in one word, what would it be?
What is on the horizon for you upon completing the program?
Meghan: I would like to continue to strengthen my skills here at Cobham, and then see where that leads me.
Kyle: I want to take what I’ve learned and continue to apply it to the best of my abilities here at the company.