Abbie completed GCSEs at Marlborough C of E School before leaving to take up her Apprenticeship with Oxfordshire County Council. Even though her headteacher wanted her to stay, she knew that she did not learn best in a classroom, learning theory and not practical.
Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?
I knew that sixth form wasn’t for me and I tried college and that was not for me either. I chose an Apprenticeship because I knew from my work experience that I worked well actually doing and being in an office environment suited me really well. I am also ‘earning while I’m learning’ which is always a good thing!
How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?
I had already spent hours searching for an Apprenticeship whilst attending college, on all the websites I could find. I briefly mentioned this to my friend Nicole and she sent me the link to this one. She only knew about it because she was completing an Apprenticeship with the Council at the time.
What does your job involve?
My job involves basically anything and everything, from everyday office HR admin such as room bookings, booking in meetings to helping with L&D courses. I am currently helping my colleague Natasha by attending the Interview Skills course as an ‘interviewee’, which is great for helping managers improve their interviewing and recruiting skills. I am also responsible for administering the Bus travel loans, Train travel loans, and soon to be administering the Bike loan scheme. My role includes so much more but they are just some of the more significant tasks.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
The variety! I never imagined an office job to be so varied. I mean it when I say that no 2 days are the same and that I never know what to expect until I arrive.
I also really enjoy meeting and dealing with so many different types of people.
What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?
I have gained so many transferrable skills, such as: communication skills, presentation skills, time management, confidence in myself, prioritising and organising, working to deadlines… I could go on. Experience wise, I now have experience helping out at events, talking confidently to senior managers and councillors, dealing with happy and unhappy customers etc…
What do you plan to do next?
I would love to stay on in my team, however there is not a guaranteed job at the end of my role. That being said, if I could stay within my team, or even within the council I would. I am not 100% on where I see myself in the future, but I do know I’d love to have my own business/company.
How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?
As I have said, there are so many transferrable skills within my role, and so many opportunities (such as becoming Apprenticeship Ambassador) that will hopefully open so many doors for me. I have always been taught that even if you don’t know what path you want to take, as long as you leave your options open, you can do (almost) anything.
What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?
To go for it! Look around and speak to different people who may be able to recommend places, attend careers fairs, speak to your career’s advisor, there are so many types of Apprenticeships out there. Also, remember that the job description is normally only an outline of the role and if you apply yourself right, you can end up with your own responsibilities and your role can become a lot more varied.
What’s your top tip?
Make sure you have a strong CV, sell yourself! This may be hard to do but ask people around you what they would say your strengths are, sometimes you don’t see them within yourself.
How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?
I feel excited! I am looking forward to telling young people my story and selling Apprenticeships, I had no idea how many types there were until I got one!