What was your first apprentice role, your job title and what did it involve?
My first apprentice role was Apprentice Telecoms Engineer, I spent time working in all different parts of the company – I did all sorts such as spending time on the road visiting sites, remote support with telephone systems and prestaging routers.
How did you find out about the apprenticeship?
Through the Job search website, I was actually looking for a fulltime job in care when I saw the apprenticeship, and as I had a bit of a technical background I thought I’d give it a go.
How did you feel when you first started?
When I first started I felt a bit nervous, I felt like at 21 I might have been a bit too old to be an apprentice – but how wrong I was, I was instantly made to feel comfortable. I had never worked in an office before either, but it was great I loved it straight away.
How long did you stay in the role?
It was advertised as a two year apprenticeship, but I was offered a permanent role after around 18 months, I’m still at the company now after 5 and a half years!
How did you find working and studying at the same time?
I thought it would be harder than it was. Through the ITP we did block release – which was good because you could just focus on your studies through that week. For my portfolio I found that if you kept it in the back of your mind it was easy to do bits here and there – for example most tasks you do can just be documented and will tick a few boxes.
What is your current job title? Can you tell us about your journey from your apprenticeship to now?
My current job title is NOC Managed Service Engineer. My first permanent role was as a Mitel Engineer, I then moved teams and did some work on Avaya and then Skype for Business as we brought the new product into support. Now I work in a brand new team that was created to work on Managed Services customers as a whole, so we will deal with the network, the telephony and the applications for all our managed services customers within one team!
What advice would you give other young people looking at apprenticeships?
You should go for it! I had actually been to Uni but it wasn’t to be, with an apprenticeship you are getting an industry recognised qualification, while earning and gaining all sorts of interpersonal skills you wouldn’t necessarily learn with other career paths.
What would you say to businesses considering employing an apprentice?
Maintel is a big believer in apprenticeship schemes. By using apprentices and new ideas it has allowed them to create new teams and new ways of working that are proven to be more efficient, the technology industry is based and new ideas and new processes. What better way to get that than by using the younger generation and fresh minds?
What was your biggest success and biggest challenge as an apprentice?
I think the biggest success was coming runner up in the ITP Apprentice of the Year Awards! It was an amazing honour and a great night! The biggest challenge has been learning all the different technologies – but this has also been one of the most rewarding parts.
What are your career aspirations from this point onwards?
What I love most about my current role is that there isn’t just one clear career route. I’ve worked in other places where the only way upwards is to be a team leader or a manager, now there are so many different paths. I could work on my professional certification, I could be a technical lead, a service delivery manager, a project engineer, a manager.. the list goes on! At the moment I’m focusing on my engineering and working up the technical ranks.
Find out more about the ITP apprenticeship scheme.