September 22, 2011 by Nina Cataldo
Nina Cataldo is a Technical Apprentice at Sandvik, the world’s leading producer of tools for turning, milling and drilling.
The group makes monsters like this…
And mechanical giants like this…
We caught up with Nina to see what life’s like inside the belly of these beasts!
Great to meet you Nina. So tell us, why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Well essentially I wanted to do something different; I didn’t want to follow what everyone else my age was doing. I wanted to challenge myself in the working world and also go against the typical female stereotype by choosing engineering which is a very male dominated industry. An apprenticeship was my way to continue learning and bettering my education whilst at the same time earning money and not becoming tied down with student debt.
Yes of course. Student debt is on the rise so I imagine earning whilst you’re learning makes you the envy of all your friends?
There’s certainly more freedom. You’re not having to rely on anyone else, you earn your own money and don’t get tied down with debt. Plus it helped me buy my beloved classic Rover Mini! It’s only a week younger than me you know!
Great to see that cash is going towards a good cause! So did you ever consider going to university?
No, I never really wanted to go to uni. I felt there was no point because I know people who have gone, got the grades but are now struggling to find a job because they have no hands- on experience. I’ve now got this experience and in the near future hope to start and complete my national BTEC course, my level 3 NVQ and then go on to university with a bit of luck.
That’s brilliant! Seems you have the best of both worlds. So are you training with EEF at the moment?
Correct, and I really appreciate the work and input that the people at EEF put into helping me get my apprenticeship. If it wasn’t for EEF and the support they gave me, I would have never gotten this opportunity.
So it’s something you’d recommend?
I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone! My advice would be to make sure an apprenticeship is something you really want to do because it is a fulltime profession and will probably last a few years. It’s certainly not school, you can’t just turn up and not be willing to work.
Sound advice Nina and well done on everything so far. We’ll check back on you soon.
Nina is someone excelling within the manufacturing industry. She’s proof that it’s not just for blokes and if you’ve been inspired to follow in her steps, get in touch with us for more information.