Carolyn: IT Apprentice on Business Administration level 3
Carolyn joined our IT academy in September 2021 and is completing a Business Administration level 3 apprenticeship and liked the idea if working in an office environment and building on her existing skills but also learning new ones to lay the foundations for her working career.
Why you chose that specific apprenticeship?
I chose this apprenticeship as I have great admiration for the company and felt I would be most comfortable in an office environment. I enjoy working with computer software's which is a big part of my role. Another job aspect that appealed to me was the planning and organisation. I like to think of myself as having a tidy and structured mindset (which is more than can be said for my bedroom…). I work well both individually and as part of a team so felt like the business environment would be a good place to develop my current skills as well as learning new ones.
Was there any decision between the apprenticeship route and any other route?
I graduated from university in 2021 with a degree in History - therefore I've had the best of both worlds…so to speak. I decided to go to university because all my friends were going and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I chose to study History because it was my best subject at school and I am quite a history nerd. However, I soon learnt that this course doesn't have a direct path so I was still stuck with not quite knowing what I wanted to do after. I found this apprenticeship by complete accident, whilst I was completing my Graduate Project in final year, and thought it would be a good starting point in the career world. I enjoy planning, organising, researching and working as part of a team so I thought I would apply. I didn't actually expect to get this apprenticeship but I'm so happy that I did. It is very different to university life but I personally think that although uni gave me the life skills, in terms of living away from home, my apprenticeship is currently developing my skills that are more useful to the career world.
What has been your proudest achievement on your apprenticeship to date?
To date I would say that my proudest achievement on my apprenticeship is having senior leaders contact me directly about a task or to ask a question instead of them contacting my line manager who then asks me. It felt like the senior leaders gained a bit of trust in me and I can communicate with them directly without hiding behind my own manager. This did feel like a fairly big achievement for me considering I haven't been in the role that long and I only hope to gain more responsibilities as my job continues.
How do you see your apprenticeship helping you in your career progression?
Because my apprenticeship allows me to work with different teams, I am able to gain knowledge and skills in multiple areas that I feel will help in a career progression. I've learnt recently that I enjoy not having a direct path to follow because it means I can experience so much and learn skills that can help with most careers. I would like to stay with this company after my apprenticeship and, because of my current role, I will have the knowledge of different departments that will hopefully help me along the way.
What would your advice be to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who doesn't want to go to university or fears the career world. Apprenticeships are a fantastic starting point for anyone, of any age, to begin a new career with a chance to build a strong skillset through learning. And you actually get paid to learn instead of falling into student debt! I'm sure most people panic when they're asked "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" because they don't have a clue - I never did and I still don't really. An apprenticeship is a good way of making a start in the career world, because whatever you learn on the job may be what allows you to progress far in 5 years' time.