Sophie Turnbull

We caught up with Sophie who shares her journey to becoming a Customer Operations Engineer on the Future Talent Programme.

What do you get to do as part of the scheme?

Cadent have fully funded my HNC in Mechanical Engineering with Teesside University, which I’m doing alongside my role. But there’s opportunities for different qualifications depending on your goals.

I can’t tell you how good the structure of my scheme is. I have a training plan and clear roadmap that I regularly discuss with my manager which is shaping my experience. You can shape your experience and Cadent give you the tools and opportunities to do that. I’m also supported by a mentor, who was given to me based on the job role I’m aspiring to in the future. I want to be a network supervisor, so I also have current network supervisors who are my mentors, guiding me in the right direction, advising and supporting me on their site visits too.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I love the versatility of my role – each day is a different day for me, and there’s different challenges that come with it. I love getting out on to patch and seeing what’s out there. I also love being part of the teams, they’re really inclusive and don’t judge you at all – I always feel welcomed and that I’m part of the team. I also get nice comments from customers when I’m on site – “it’s lovely to see a woman in this kind of job” which drives me, because it’s really for anyone.

What’s your advice for people looking for an apprenticeship or any of our Future Talent Programmes?

I’d say take the jump and embrace it – go for it and apply, because if you don’t you just don’t know the possibilities that could be. They’re endless. Do your research, and don’t put yourself in a box. I came from a customer background and could’ve just stuck to customer roles – but it turns out I absolutely love the engineering side to and being on site. My biggest advice would be – try it out before you say ‘it isn’t for me.’

What else attracted you to the role?

I get all my kit and PPE supplied, a laptop, phone, electric company car and good wellbeing benefits schemes. You can also get £200 towards your driving lessons!

Do you have any advice for women looking at applying to engineering roles?

I would say if you’re interested in this field, definitely do some research and look into it, because there are so many opportunities. I genuinely love the role but wouldn’t have known the possibilities if I didn’t make the jump to apply.