After leaving Wright Robinson high school with average grades I went to study my A levels at Loreto Sixth Form College. I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a future career, I had so many ideas going through my head and they kept changing! I decided to pick subjects that I believed would keep my options open. During college I could never concentrate and knuckle down and get the work done; I just didn’t enjoy this style of learning. Although I did enjoy the subjects I just couldn’t sit there in a classroom learning topic after topic anymore, I wanted to be actively working.
After two years in college it was time to make a decision on my next career step, it was time to take my future career seriously and decide what I am going to do. College was pushing everyone towards University because that were seen as the norm to do once completing you’re A levels. I understand that for some this is the route they want to take yet for anyone that is having doubts then you’re not alone. At this point I had enough of sitting in a classroom and just wanted to get out into the world of work, while at college I worked part-time on the weekend to support myself in my house from the age of 16 and I just preferred that so much more to sitting in a classroom.
I didn’t want to tell anyone I wasn’t applying to university as I didn’t want to be seen as a ‘drop out’. I admit I did feel quite embarrassed to tell my family and friends that I was going to do an apprenticeship; apprenticeships have an outdated view that they are for students that can’t get the grades and wasn’t capable of having a career. Just because I didn’t want to go to university didn’t mean I wasn’t capable, driven or had the desire to continuously develop myself and better my education. Knowing what I know now, I had nothing to be embarrassed about, in fact I could not be prouder!
One day The Apprentice Academy came into my college for a careers fair, I went along to find out what it was all about and loved what I heard, earning and learning, gaining the experience, knowledge and skills on the job sounded like the right thing that suited me. After successfully getting accepted onto their programme they found me a job at Brother UK for a level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration for 18 months. After having a successful interview, I was offered the job.
Through The Apprentice Academy I attended a one week boot camp training to get me career ready for the world of work prior to starting my new role. This basic training was helping me develop the skills I needed in the world of work. For example, team work and communication skills.
At first, I didn’t know what to expect starting my new role in September, what will be expected of me, what will I be doing. When I started it were nothing like I expected, I were treated just like any other employee, I were finally earning and learning, something that suited me. The business allowed me to move around each department on a rotation basis to gain an overall deepened understanding of the business. This helped me massively to develop my skills, knowledge and experience throughout my apprenticeship. I was able to understand how to work with a variety of different people, gaining rapport with a wide range of departments and to find my feet in an area that I could have a thriving career in.
I successfully completed my apprenticeship in February 2016 and secured a full-time role as the Community Engagement Coordinator supporting all internal and external communications for the business, employee engagement and our apprenticeship programme. I have gained so much experience, knowledge and skills to help me develop my career and continue to do so. I don't think this would have been possible if I wasn't on an apprenticeship. I have now come full circle since I started at Brother as an apprentice and now I am leading on recruiting, mentoring and developing our new apprentices.
I am lucky enough to also lead our Apprenticeship Ambassador programme as part of my role which I created after securing a full-time position. This has given me the opportunity to develop a team of past and current apprentices at Brother UK who attend local high schools and colleges to promote apprenticeships successfully though sharing their personal journey. This has added huge benefit to my role and the business in being recognised as a company that invests in future talent. But not only that, I do this because I believe that it’s the right thing to do.
I want to raise awareness and let other students know that an apprenticeship is not about making tea and coffee and on minimum wage. It is so much more than that! It’s a great opportunity to get your foot into a door of a business and your apprenticeship will help you flourish to have successful future career.
Now I have completed my apprenticeship, Brother UK are committed to further investing in my Learning and Development, through funding my move onto a Level 3 Diploma in Leadership and Management. This next apprenticeship qualification is going to give me a huge platform to be able to take my career to the next step. Which will be to manage my own team and have my own specific departmental area to manage. This just shows that hard work, determination and the scope an apprenticeship gives you, you can be successful.
I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of Brother UK and the route I chosen to take!