The first leg of my apprenticeship journey

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

When you’re older what do you want to do?

I think that everyone dislikes these questions…. I remember from a young age having many different career plans and changed my mind all the time. At the age of fourteen I decided I wanted to be an actor on the west end from here I started my career path. I studied drama for the next four years but, like when I was younger, I changed my mind in my final year of study before university.

When I started my A-levels I had eight GCSE’s and was starting to study three of the subjects that I would need for my university degree. Throughout the year we had Careers days as well as University Open Days. The whole experience was amazing. I started working part time at Next so that I could begin to save for University. Then in my second year of A-levels I started new subjects and dropped some of my A-levels.

Finding out more about apprenticeships

By the December of my second year most of my friends had applied for University, but I wanted to stay on for a third year and complete my A-levels. Whilst most of my friends had applied for University, some of them had applied for apprenticeships. We had a careers talk on apprenticeships and they looked amazing, I had recently read an article about working through the career ladder within a company, without going to university, so I started looking at apprenticeships as an option.

I spoke to a careers advisor and found apprenticeships a good option for a customer service role; I was enjoying my part time job at Next, and loved the diversity of the job and meeting new people. I began thinking back to the article I had read about working my way up the career ladder. At the age of seventeen the idea of going to university and then being in debt and not have a guaranteed job scared me.

Making the decision

I had a friend that had started an apprenticeship and really enjoyed it. I decided to ask the careers advisor how I could apply and was given details for the apprenticeship website. The idea of working whilst gaining a qualification really seemed to be a great option for me. I had gone off the idea of university and being away from home. I started to look at apprenticeships and applied for a few that looked interesting but after some unsuccessful interviews I was looking at continuing school for the third year. But none of the subjects I wanted to do were available. I really did not want to be stuck doing something I did not enjoy.

I had another look at the apprenticeship website and saw an apprenticeship that stood out at me. I applied hoping that I would get an interview. I did. I had a pre-interview at City College Peterborough with a member of their apprenticeship recruitment team, which went amazingly well. Following that my CV was put forward to the Customer Service Manager at the College and she invited me in for an interview for a new position and then offered me the opportunity to have a trial day the following week to see how I got on and whether the job was for me.

Winning my customer service apprenticeship

The day of my trial arrived. I was so excited but also very nervous. I had prepared everything the night before, and had woken up super early. I arrived at my workplace early and was introduced to the team I would be working with. There were so many names and people to remember! I got stuck in learning the basic skills needed for the position as well as familiarising myself with the administrative system I would be using for the job. By the end of the day I knew I wanted to stay as I had such a great day and time seemed to fly by.

At the end of the day I learnt that I would hear from the manager about the position within the next few days. The next day I decided to stay at home and do some of my coursework for school, hoping I would hear from about the apprenticeship position sooner rather than later. I did. They phoned me and offered me the job so I went into school that afternoon and let my head of sixth form know that I would no longer require a space the following year. Within a few days I went from being at school to being a customer service apprentice at City College Peterborough.

The start of my next journey in my life had just begun from being a student at school, to starting my career in the world of work. How exciting!

Megan Copland

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