In October 2014 I took the plunge. I left my comfort zone which was my job at McDonalds, as a crew trainer. I'd been applying for apprenticeships half heartedly with not much luck for a while. I had a few interviews here and there but nothing ever came of them, and to tell the truth I didn’t mind as I was quite happy where I was. I knew what I was doing, I knew the people, and I could work as many or as few hours as I wanted.
I decided enough was enough, and that if I didn’t get out there soon, I would be at McDonalds for the rest of my life. I had no qualifications other than GCSE’s due to having to leave college when I first became ill, so an apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity.
I applied for a Business Administration apprenticeship for a company that sounded interesting, and within the hour the learning provider had contacted me asking if I could attend an initial interview with them. The next day I was off work, so I went to this interview, nervous, and with no idea what to expect.
The lady conducting the interview was absolutely lovely, and told me about the structure of the apprenticeship and about the company I would be working for if this was the role I went into. We ran through why I wanted to be an apprentice, and she thought I would be an excellent candidate for the role. Given that I am a little older than most that go into these sorts of roles, she thought I would be more mature and more suited to the workplace environment.
I attended an interview at the company the next morning, which was very informal. I can’t say everyone’s experience will be like this, as I am based in a small company where everyone is treated more like family than colleagues, however, my interview wasn’t an interview as such. My boss ran through what the company does in more detail and showed me some of the work, which is displayed around the meeting room, and also ran through what my role within the company would be. I left feeling unsure of how I had done, as it wasn’t really like any interview I’d had before.
However, that afternoon I had to go to work, so I went in and kept quiet about what I’d been up to in the morning, just in case nothing came of it, although everyone knew I was looking to leave. I received a phone call around 2pm from the learning provider stating that the company would like to offer me the job and I accepted straight away. I told them the notice period I had to work, and we arranged a starting date for me on 17th November.
My first day, I didn’t know what to expect. I was going into an environment I knew NOTHING about, and I was terrified. However, I was welcomed by Tommy the office dog, and shown my desk, and made to feel right at home.
The first day I was shown around the factory and the rest of the building, and after that all I did was make tea and coffee, and answer the phones, and I was still terrified of doing something terribly wrong! Over the next few weeks I was introduced to more aspects of the business, and made to feel part of the team.
I am now almost 8 months into my apprenticeship and feel very comfortable and fairly confident within my job role. I have learnt so many new skills, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.
My advice to people is if there is something specific you know you want to do with yourself, or even if you have no clue but you want to gain extra qualifications and be paid for it, you should look into apprenticeships. Not all university degrees can get you a job, whereas if you managed to get yourself an apprenticeship in that field, you’ve already got your foot in the door, and you’re more likely to be hired over the person with the degree if you have actual experience within that environment.