Sanna Shabir is one of the first participants on a Good Jobs Campaign programme. Sanna heard about the programme while studying at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College (member of TELCO). She has been employed by Atkins since the programme finished as a civil engineering technician apprentice and is currently studying civil engineering on a degree level in order to take her career even further. Sanna is an inspiration for those who are considering participating in the Good Jobs Programme or becoming an engineer.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your role at Atkins and your pathway?
My name is Sanna Shabir, I am 21 years old, and I live in East London. I have been living in East London for the past 21 years. My role within Atkins is I am a civil engineer technician apprentice. I have been working for Atkins for the past 2 years and 3 months. My pathway to engineering consists of completing my GCSES then studying to my A Levels in maths and economics. After I finished my A Levels I decided to take a gap year because I was indecisive about what to study at university. I found about the internship programme that Citizens UK was running now known as the Good Jobs Campaign. I found about the programme through my careers adviser at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College. I applied for the internship because I wanted to get an insight on what engineering is about; what do engineers do; what sort of disciplines are out there. I wanted to get involved with more projects, which affect society on day to day basis.
Would you say that the Good Jobs Campaign helped you?
Most definitely. It inspired me to pursue a career in engineering. It helped me immensely by giving me an opportunity to work with global design, engineering and project management consultancy like Atkins. Within the internship programme the Good Jobs Campaign also provided me with three workshops, which consisted of a CV workshop, negotiation workshop and employability workshop, which I truly believe allowed me to obtain a permanent position with Atkins.
Could you tell us what are the highlights of your apprenticeship with Atkins?
There is too many to name! A few of them are working on multi million pound projects that change lives for the better and I think that it is very rewarding for me to actually have an input on these projects. It brings me a very proud feeling that I actually have had an impact on them. As an apprentice I am constantly learning: I am learning at college and I am also learning at work. I can combine best of both worlds by using the technical experience that I am learning both at college and work. I was shortlisted for 4 Apprentice of the Year categories, which 3 out of 4 I won. I was also given an opportunity to deliver a speech representing Atkins in order to raise awareness of the skills deficit in the construction industry. Additionally I was interviewed by the BBC promoting careers and apprenticeships in the construction industry and that was aired on national TV. One thing about working at Atkins I think is the variety of people that I get to work with not just internally but externally with clients and learning from them and making everyone working as a team in order to deliver a project.
How would you describe a Good Job?
A life changing opportunity. A good job is one that develops you in terms of your skills and knowledge both professionally and personally. Good job gives you new experiences, which supports your learning and allows you to reach your full potential.
Would you say that the Good Jobs Programme can be a life changing experience?
Definitely. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to join the programme.
What kind of advice could you give to people on the programme now or the future participants?
I think be enthusiastic and show that you are very keen and open-minded. Show your interest. Grab every opportunity which comes your way because you never know what it may lead to. The Good Jobs Programme is a brilliant opportunity to teach you the soft skills required to succeed in life. When I first started this programme I was a 17 year old girl but when I came out of it I matured both professionally and personally. I think that is quite important especially in terms of getting a grip of working life.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity!
Citizens UK’s Good Jobs Campaign works with schools and colleges in disadvantaged communities and employers in high skill sectors to create new high quality training pathways into good jobs for young people. To find out more about our work, see our programmes page.