To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February 2020) we sat down with our business administration apprentice Freya to find out all about her experiences finding an apprenticeship, getting started and her highlights so far….
What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I didn’t like the idea of sitting in college all day with no practical elements as I am a very hands-on learner, so I picked an apprenticeship which would give me the experience alongside learning. I chose the business administration course so I could learn about the day to day running of an office, but also as a starting point to develop other skills and go on to other roles in the future.
What was the process like in finding an apprenticeship?
It was relatively easy to find an apprenticeship and the information I needed, but I feel that may have been because I was so motivated to find one. School helped me a lot, they organised mock interviews which really helped me gain an understanding of the process. For these we even had to come to school wearing formal clothes!
If you’re considering an apprenticeship, the careers advisors within schools are definitely worth talking to for advice regarding colleges and apprenticeships. Having these conversations really gave me confidence.
How are you finding your apprenticeship?
I am loving it! Everyone here in the Faith office has been very welcoming and helpful.
How are you finding college alongside an apprenticeship?
Having college halfway through the week splits the week up and makes it much easier. I learn a lot of the basics at college that help when I am in the workplace, such as how to effectively use spreadsheets – whereas in work it’s much more specific to the industry, for example using scheduling software and uploading to websites.
What does a typical week look like?
I spend Monday and Tuesday here in the Faith office carrying out my set tasks. Wednesday is college day where I have my business class. This covers various modules from the importance of social media to creating business documents suitable for purpose. After the class I have time to focus on my coursework. Thursday and Friday I’m back in the Faith office doing my day-to-day duties which include sorting through media coverage and collating reports. I try to spend my weekends relaxing, but between college work and looking after my five pets, I can get quite busy!
What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
Actually starting my apprenticeship here at Faith has to be my highlight. I was so nervous, but it has turned out to be fantastic!
I have learnt so much since starting, including formally answering the telephone and developing various skills, such as Photoshop.
What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’d like to go into a design-based role, potentially developing graphics or even web design as I have previously used software (such as Adobe Dreamweaver) to create web pages which I really enjoyed doing. Through my apprenticeship I am developing these skills with Photoshop and InDesign which I am really enjoying!
What advice would you give someone considering an apprenticeship?
Just go for it! Personally, I don’t think there is any better way to learn then by getting stuck in! You get to meet new people and communicate with people you maybe wouldn’t in everyday life, which definitely builds up your confidence.
If you weren’t doing an apprenticeship, what would you like to do instead?
I’d probably be doing something animal related, either setting up a sanctuary or working for a larger organisation. I have had many animals over the years from hamsters and guinea pigs to cats and dogs, so I’ve had plenty of experience!
What skills have you learnt from your apprenticeship so far?
I have always been quite chatty, so I think answering the phone and talking to clients formally has really built up my confidence in the workplace. Working towards deadlines is another skill I have developed – to some this may seem small, but I have learnt that within a business it is hugely important! Learning to upload items such as press releases and blogs to a website alongside scheduling social media posts are other skills I’ve enjoyed learning – I’m sure there’ll be many more to come!
An apprenticeship was the right choice for me when I finished school as I’ve had the opportunity to come straight into a working environment to make use of the skills I am learning at college, rather than continuing in traditional education. This means that I can expand and develop my knowledge every day, and while this was definitely the right decision for me, I know it won’t be for everyone. However, if you are considering an apprenticeship, just go for it!