Meet Schneider Electric technical apprentice Louise Johnston

Meet Schneider Electric technical apprentice Louise Johnston

 June 09, 2020

For International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) we're profiling some talented women engineers whose careers are truly thriving at Schneider Electric

Meet Louise Johnston. She's a Technical Apprentice at Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric is the perfect company for her because its core values align with her own, enabling her to do something she believes in.

From sponsoring her engineering degree to offering her training, find out how Schneider Electric has supported Louise's engineering career.

What is it like to work in Schneider Electric?

I am a technical apprentice here at Schneider Electric completing our incredible degree apprenticeship program. I love working for Schneider Electric. I have such a diverse, interactive role training to be an engineer. I am really enjoying my placements. I get to see behind the scenes, things that general public never get to witness which make the job so exciting. Every day is different which is something I thrive in, it allows me to learn and consolidate that learning. You know that by working for Schneider Electric you're supported in every aspect of what you're doing.

When and why did you decide to become an engineer?

From a young age I had always been very creative. I loved and still love arts and crafts and designing and I thoroughly enjoyed woodwork and metalwork at school. I also love problem solving. In my last year of secondary school, I decided I wanted to pursue engineering because there were so many paths I could go down that included everything that I enjoy so much. I did various work experiences in different forms of engineering to make certain this was the career I wanted to pursue. Since then I have been focused on engineering and pursuing it.

Why Schneider Electric?

When I found out about Schneider Electric, I quickly knew that this was where i wanted to start my career. Everyone who I have had interactions with at Schneider Electric were friendly, warm and welcoming. I loved everything that Schneider Electric stands for and the core values align with my personal values. This was a big factor for me because I have always wanted to make sure that I am doing what I believe in and enjoy. I could also see just how supportive Schneider Electric is and how there are just so many opportunities to grow yourself and your career.

How has Schneider Electric supported your career?

Schneider Electric has supported my career by giving me so much exposure and knowledge, including sponsoring me to do a degree in my passion - engineering. It has supported me by giving me the relevant training to aid my understanding and qualifications. But it is also the individuals on a daily basis who support me and my choices, such as my managers and placement managers and the engineers I have been working closely with. They support me by understanding that there's limit to my existing knowledge and helping me to improve my knowledge and understanding.

What has been your career path up to today?

I've had one placement in total here at Schneider Electric which has been at the National Gallery under the services team. This has been a brilliant first placement and placement in general as it starts getting you used to Schneider Electric products and how these work within a plant environment. At first of course this was daunting because I had near to no knowledge of anything in a plant room but this was soon changed as I had more and more exposure. I’ve ended up learning more than I could ever have even imagined and have enjoyed it so much. Back in January, the typical placement duration had come to an end, however mine was extended because I was learning so much still and because I loved it so much.

How has flexibility supported your career choices and options?

The fact that I was able to extend my placement just shows the flexibility across Schneider, there were no worries for me staying at the National Gallery for longer because i was still learning and picking up new knowledge every day. Being able to have this placement exposure has allowed me to see the different paths that this career can take you down and its ultimately going to make us amazing engineers who have both a broad understanding but most importantly appreciation for other people’s hard work during a project.

What has been your most rewarding experience as an engineer?

So far i would say it’s the satisfaction of the knowledge I now have, being able to determine what might be causing a problem or just having an understanding of how something most people don't think about, works. That's what I think is rewarding, that and making a difference and building relationships with clients.

What has been challenging as an engineer?

At first it was all slightly daunting because I didn't have enough knowledge. I was learning things I had zero experience in and I found it both frustrating and challenging. However, everyday it got easier as I picked up more. So I would say my most challenging experience as an apprentice engineer was when I found myself having a very client facing role whilst still only learning myself. However, as challenging as this was it has certainly been my most rewarding experience as I was greatly respected and appreciated and was able to make a difference.

What's your advice for women interested in engineering?

Do it! My advice is to not be put off by the idea of this being a male-dominated industry because this is changing and with the help of other passionate, enthusiastic women we will change this. It's such an exciting and diverse career - it's dynamic, enjoyable, challenging and fun and I'm firm believer that men and women bring different things, different knowledge and different trains of thought. Together we can enrich the working environment and build a brighter future. 

Who has been your greatest support at Schneider Electric?

Besides my managers, who are a constant support to me, I would say this has been the incredible service engineer i have had the pleasure of working with. He has been supportive beyond belief, engaging, kind and has more knowledge and practical experience then i thought would ever be possible. He has been more than willing to help me learn and put my knowledge to practice.

Enjoy an exciting engineering apprenticeship at Schneider Electric

An engineering apprenticeship at Schneider Electric gives women the chance to explore all areas of the business, as well as gain necessary training and qualifications.

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