Emily is a Relationship Management Apprentice with NatWest. She completed GCSEs at The Cherwell School in Oxford and started her Advanced Apprenticeship in October 2015. Emily recently returned to her former school to talk to sixth form students about her Apprenticeship experiences. Read more.
Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?
Although I did well in my GCSEs, I certainly didn’t have a specific career path in mind when I finished them so I wandered into A Levels because I thought I was the logical next step. I’d always loved education and school but I quickly realised that it was no longer for me so I left within three months.
Nevertheless I still wanted to continue my education as well as starting my career. I’d always enjoyed working (and earning money) so an Apprenticeship was the perfect option.
How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?
Online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship - I was considering moving out of my parents’ home at the time so it allowed me to search Apprenticeships nationwide.
What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?
The job is very varied as we deal with a large number of businesses in a range of sectors. I’ve helped with organising seminars, arranging meetings, preparing briefs, research projects and everything in between - all while learning about banking and keeping up with studying for a Chartered Banker Certificate and a Level 3 NVQ. Confidence is probably the main thing I’ve gained, which is odd as I’ve always considered myself to be a confident person!
When I joined the bank and heard my colleagues using bits of jargon that I’d never heard before I thought that the job would be impossible for me to pick up! However once I got stuck in - like most things - it turned out to be not so impossible.
What do you plan to do next?
My next step is clearly world domination. Just kidding, that’s obviously a few steps down the line.
In truth I don’t know what’s next. I do know that I like what I’m doing at the moment but I’m ambitious and this is a big company where I could find any number of things I’m passionate about down the line.
How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?
I know I’m getting a good grounding in a job that I could do anywhere and always come back to no matter where life takes me.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing an Apprenticeship?
Have a look at what’s out there then if you see something interesting, go for it! Apply! The worst case is that you’ve gained experience in applying for a job in a field of your interest. Maybe it’s even led to interview experience which will help you no matter what you do. The best case is that you get offered the job.
What advice would you give an employer who is considering employing an Apprentice?
If you want smart, passionate and ambitious people who are hungry to start their careers working alongside you at your company then get them while they’re hot!