Apprenticeships offer unique opportunities to “earn while you learn”, gain experience and develop skills relevant to your future career prospects. Currently working towards a Level 3 apprenticeship in Business Administration, Shelbie-Louise Baker works at Brooklands College as an apprentice within the Apprenticeships team.
With National Apprenticeship Week upon us, we took the opportunity to talk to Shelbie about the practicalities of an apprenticeship, her progress and future career ambitions. Valuing the first-hand experience and to gain an insight into the world of work, she opted to choose an apprenticeship over studying a full-time course at College.
Treated as an equal staff member by her peers, 16-year-old Shelbie wishes to pursue a career in the beauty industry, perhaps as a creative director. She admitted that an apprenticeship offers that much needed stepping stone in making the jump from school straight into the world of work.
What skills have you learnt on your apprenticeship? I have developed my people and communication skills, my understanding of working in a business environment and confidence in sharing ideas with colleagues.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship over a full-time course at college? I think the attraction of earning and getting a qualification at the same time was a temptation that tipped the balance in favour of choosing the apprenticeship route.
Your typical day: I regularly check the National Apprenticeship Service website to see if there are any applications for any vacancies, monitor and respond to internal and external communications from students and employers, by both telephone and email. I also handle the filing of documents and paperwork concerning individual student apprentices.
How did you get the apprenticeship? I saw the job advert on the National Apprenticeship Service website, read through the job description and soon enough I applied. A week after applying I was invited in for an interview. I had a good interview and heard the good news by telephone that I had been offered the job a few hours later. I started in November 2018 and I am very much enjoying working as part of the Apprenticeships team.
What did you wear to your interview? Smart and all-black, trousers and shoes – it is all about the image you portray to your potential employer.
Advice when it comes to interviews: Be yourself, be confident. Make eye contact with your interviewers and speak clearly. Be sure that you know the job role and have thoroughly read through the job description.
Key tip: My one key tip when it comes to applying for a role and approaching an interview, do some research into the employer and make a few mental notes about it’s background story. For Brooklands College, it was about knowing the College’s ethics, values and commitment to safeguarding.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to friends? Yes, 100%. I would recommend doing an apprenticeship as you can earn and save money, get a qualification and learn whilst working.
Help us celebrate the successes and skilled talent brought to companies across the country by taking part in this week’s National Apprenticeship Week, using the hashtag #NAW2019.