Completing my apprenticeship

A whole six months ago I wrote a blog about how I felt studying for my apprenticeship helped me to connect with our purpose.  Well… six months later and my apprenticeship is coming to an end. With all my coursework completed and signed off, my qualification work is currently going through the final stages of the process so I can’t yet officially say I have passed my Business Administration Level 3 qualification but my first thoughts on this is… wow where has the time gone?

So I thought it was important to take a look back on my last year here and how far I’ve come and developed. Our purpose is all about helping people develop the skills they need to progress into a job, on the job and onto the next job. I think it’s important to remember that everyone experiences stages throughout their career. I am now at a different point to where I was six months ago and I may be in a different place six months down the line.

Into a job

The biggest part of the journey I have been on over the last year is the whole process of getting into a job. It started with getting my A levels, finding my apprenticeship and then my first full time job and now I’m completing my qualification. It’s given me invaluable experience into the world of work and how a group of businesses work. I have picked up a lot of valuable skills along the way that I know will help me to progress and develop within my career. My passion for learning has continued and work has just grown that desire to continuously learn. After all, we have to learn and adapt with the changing world we live in.

On the job

One of the big things I have picked up on after working for the past year is how different the work environment is compared to school. You do things the way your teacher shows you how to do things and you rarely challenge them. In the job role and working environment I am in now I have the freedom to express my own ideas. To have my own stamp on things and to show imagination and creativity in what I do. This is something I love having the opportunity to do but also something I have had to adapt and learn and grow into.

Another thing the world of work has helped me to improve on is my confidence. I am a lot more confident now than I was six months ago. I have built trustworthy working relationships with people across the Group and I feel I have the confidence to approach people on things now that I maybe wouldn’t have when I first started. This has come from settling in, feeling comfortable around people, getting to know my team better, as well as being introduced to fellow apprentices across the business. It was good to talk to other people of a similar age who were going through the same process as me.

The projects I have had the chance to work on have also helped to build my networks. For example working on the Employee Engagement Survey. This year I have been part of the project team working as the communications lead which has helped build relationships with colleagues particularly in HR. This is a project I feel comes with a lot of responsibility and as an apprentice something I wouldn’t have expected to be given the opportunity to work on. I think a lot of people have perceptions of apprentices being the ‘ones who make the tea’ and do the jobs no one else wants to do. Well I can say for a fact this is not true here at the City & Guilds Group. We are valued as much as a permanent employee and I feel I play an important role within my team.

Onto the next job

This the part of my journey that I feel I am currently at. This month I will have my qualification and hopefully a permanent job role. The next year for me will be all about stepping up, taking on more responsibility and  thinking about what my next challenge will be. A question I don’t often ask myself is where do I see myself in five years’ time? Where would I like my career to go? These are all the things I need to consider to help me get onto the next job.

Ellie McWilliams

Ellie is the Group Brand Engagement Apprentice at the City & Guilds Group.   Ellie helps to deliver internal communications and brand engagement activities for the Group. She is involved in a wide range of projects as well as updating the Group intranet and weekly round-up of stories from across the Group.