Jessica Le Jeune

Jess is working towards a Level 5 Apprenticeship in Business Innovation & Growth at Nielsen, based in Headington. She completed A Levels at Waddesden School before starting her Apprenticeship in September 2017. Jess was named Higher Apprentice of the Year at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards in March. Find out more.

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I chose a Higher Apprenticeship route as it ticked all the boxes for me when considering my post-18 options. Firstly, I liked that I would be able to obtain a Level 5 qualification, which I will be able to use in later life. Additionally, I also knew that as a minimum it would provide me with 2 years of work experience at the world’s largest market research company, which if nothing else would bolster out my CV. What really sold it for me was a guaranteed job role at the end of the scheme. For me, the whole purpose of going to university would be to set yourself up to get a job by the end of it. However, with the Apprenticeship route I knew I would be able to fast-track this process, and start my career early which really excited and drove me.

How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

A girl in the year above me at school went on to do the Nielsen Higher Apprenticeship and she came into my school with her manager to present about the scheme a year into her Apprenticeship. They explained what Nielsen did, highlighted the benefits of starting my career with Nielsen and by that point I was sold!

What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?

I have gained a huge variety of skills across my Apprenticeship so far, that have changed me for the better. For instance, I have vastly improved my presentation skills across the 18 months I’ve been at Nielsen. This skill has opened up lots of opportunities, ranging from presenting to clients, selling projects and being a speaker at Nielsen’s annual event: State of the Nation. In light of this, my confidence has grown massively, both in terms of my day-to-day job role, but also the way I act as an individual too inside and outside of work. All of these challenging experiences have enabled me to become tenacious, ambitious and conscientious – which in turn has certainly given me the drive to do well at Nielsen in the future.

What do you plan to do next?

Post-Apprenticeship, I plan to work in the Sales Effectiveness team as a Junior Sales Executive.

How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?

I am currently working within our Sales team within Sales Effectiveness on a solution named Assortment (which allows our clients to understand what their optimal range is). Due to 18 months of working on the end-to-end process of Assortment studies, I feel well equipped to go into this type of rule in September. As the team know I have an interest in staying with them post-Apprenticeship, they have invested a huge amount of time and energy in training me to enable me to thrive in this position. Some of this training has included going out to clients to talk about our Assortment offering, and demonstrate our Assortment tool. It is these types of experiences and opportunities that will help me to excel in a Junior Sales role.

What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?

My advice would be for them to take a step back and look at all of their options… is university going to be the route that will set them up for success in later life, or is experience combined with a qualification going to allow them to go further? If the answer is the latter, then the Apprenticeship route is the one they should go for. Plus if they’re concerned whether an Apprenticeship isn’t the way to go, then it’s worth noting that university is always an open door. Essentially all the young person who’s considering an Apprenticeship needs to know is that it’s a great way to jump onto the career ladder, get into your chosen field and go far.

What’s your top tip?

Say yes to all the challenges that come your way, as they’re the moments that will make you grow the most.

How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

I am really excited to become an Apprenticeship Ambassador, as I couldn’t be more passionate about the Apprenticeship scheme and sharing my experiences. I am certainly looking forward to spreading my message around the county and to provide everyone with all the information possible to enable them to make the right decision for them post-school/college. Additionally, a personal target of mine is to try and remove the stigma that Apprenticeships have and promote all the types of Apprenticeships that are out there, the fields they’re in, and the high quality experiences they can expect.