We spoke to Saeda Maihanwal, Supply Chain Apprentice at Alstom

Can you describe your role in a few words?

Working in all sectors of the supply chain network including, expediting, procurement, sourcing, warehousing and sales.

What were you doing prior to your Apprenticeship?

I was completing my GCSE and A Levels

What was your perception of the sector before you started your apprenticeship?

To be honest I was unaware of all the different sectors in rail – including rolling stock, services, signalling and systems. I was a passenger and I had always researched regarding the economic benefits of railway links, but it had never crossed my mind that I would be working in an organisation that creates so many opportunities.

What interested you in joining Alstom?

I was planning on developing my career by going to university, but when I saw the apprenticeship scheme that Alstom was offering it was of great interest to me, because I consider myself a “hands on” learner, so this appealed more than the traditional route to university.

What are the key things you’ve learnt so far in your job?

  • As the material controller, I ensure that all relevant materials arrived on time and in full.
  • I guarantee that the HS2 Demonstration Room is fully operational to be able to showcase the technology that Alstom has to offer to customers.
  • I help with the implementation of our new Global SAP system

What is the most exciting part of your role?

Meeting different people including suppliers and customers and presenting work that makes a positive impact on the organisation. I also got nominated for the Young Rail Professional of the year!

What would you like to do after completing your apprenticeship?

I’d love to work on more projects like the HS2 Demonstration room as this has given me great depth of skills and allowed me to implement my university studies in real life scenarios. I’d also like to go on secondments abroad to improve my cultural awareness and become agile in adapting to different environments and settings, therefore following the Alstom in motion: AIR Values. Ultimately I’d like to build the skills required to become a competent manager/team leader and in time become a competent senior manager.