What’s it like to be an apprentice? | October 2019

4th November 2019

I’m Sophie Cooper, an apprentice at InterLearn working in the marketing team, studying towards a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship. I’ll be sharing my experiences with you as I progress through my course giving a realistic account of what it’s like to be an apprentice. So, if you’re interested in apprenticeships, whether you’re an employer looking to recruit, or an individual looking to learn and progress this way, hopefully you’ll enjoy this blog series and find it useful!

Halloween!

BEST.DAY.EVER.

In October things got spooky in the office and all the ghouls came out into the day light! We had a costume theme in the office and I came as Little Red Riding Hood. And I must say it was pretty fun having an impromptu photoshoot with the rest of my colleagues; never thought that would be in my job description! I came dressed as Red Riding Hood as she was a fiercely independent woman who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid of anything that stood in her way. I mean seriously, she did kill the wolf that ate her Grandma! If you hadn’t guessed I came as her because she ‘resonated’ with me. Being an apprentice who consciously chose her own path and wasn’t deterred by any ‘wolves’ trolling me about the stereotype that exists of apprentices. Because there isn’t a one size fits all; everyone has their own reason for choosing an apprenticeship and everyone has their own path they want to make!

It was also really great being part of a company that is equally as zany and bright as I feel! I mean imagine the scene. Sitting at your desk, getting on with your work and you look over your shoulder to see a Black Cat. Wait-what?! A HUMAN SIZED BLACK CAT IN THE OFFICE! OMG! It was just my colleague wearing a cat head, but you can imagine my reaction. It was pretty hilarious and not really something you would expect to encounter in an office! All the staff having an absolute blast, whilst completing the workday diligently in the freakiest costumes (see them here). It was really refreshing to see everyone coming out of their shell or could I say grave?! Because Halloween is about the undead. Ok. Yeah that was bad.  Moving on.

 

What I’ve been up too…

This month my main task was editing and re-branding apprenticeship documents used within the company. And there was a LOT. I had to use pre-made templates and copy the necessary information to these. To be fair though it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. I mean, did you know that PowerPoint has an area called Slide Master where you can manually change the templates of slides? I mean, what? I never knew that existed and yes, I know l sound like a nerd. But I really liked being involved firsthand in the creation of documents that the company would give to learners, actually making a difference to the business and the individuals they work with. Instead of being seen as an underpaid errand girl, that gets all the coffees for the staff and deals with their personal chores ; I was seen as a valued part of their team charged with working on documents that would make a huge difference for the company. And that was really humbling to know.

Another task, that rolled over from last month was adding a LOT of business data to a master spreadsheet (a very big table of numbers). This was kind of challenging, as someone who literally hated Maths with a passion all my life, having to deal with different numbers all at once. I can’t really say this was fun, but it has helped my brain by being able to consume all these figures, as it had previously been on a ‘Numerical Diet’ Ok, I’ll really stop this time! And I got a better understanding of business economics and the importance of this information. But most of all I finally found out how to copy in Excel! Level up!

Overall, I’ve had a really great, varied month. Going from editing the artwork in documents, analysing business numbers and becoming Red Riding Hood for the day. Even though I am an apprentice working towards a specific apprenticeship, I’m able to work on different tasks and gain insight into different areas of the business, something I didn’t think I would be doing, but very glad I am! I would definitely recommend pursuing an apprenticeship if you want to gain experience and #earnwhilstyoulearn because I’m growing into a more resilient and independent person always striving to succeed, every day. If you’re an employer, I’d also encourage you to take on an apprentice because I can say first hand it’s a really good investment for you and them. I can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

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