Why did you choose to do an
As I was growing up,
apprenticeships were always viewed as an alternative path to education for
those who didn’t meet the requirements for university of preferred hands-on
occupations that were traditionally male-dominated, such as plumbing. The only
option otherwise was attending university, which was highly encouraged
However, I took inspiration
from my dad and sister who had successful experiences with apprenticeships in the
professional business industry. Therefore, I decided to explore this
alternative. To me, the option of an apprenticeship seemed far more appealing.
only could I work towards a degree that would be paid for, but I would also be
able to apply the knowledge I gained in a practical setting simultaneously. This means that by the time I complete my degree, I will already be well-versed
in the practical aspects of the job and possess a comprehensive understanding
of real-life project management.
In comparison, spending the
same duration of time at university would only provide me with theoretical
knowledge. Personally, I believe that
gaining an in-depth understanding of project management requires more than just
studying theory. It is the hands-on experience that allows you to comprehend
the intricate details of the field.
Therefore, my main motivation
for pursuing an apprenticeship was to immerse myself in a professional
environment, gain exposure, and acquire practical experience. This opportunity
would allow me to immediately apply and enhance my existing skills, which also
acquiring new ones.
What made you choose the
project management career path?
During my time in school, I was
torn between pursuing a career in business or law. At the time, law
apprenticeships were very new, while there were more opportunities for a
business apprenticeship. Among the various business apprenticeships available,
project management stood out for me as it offered versatility and a chance to
explore different areas.
appealed to me about project management was the opportunity to avoid getting
stuck in a single role. I was unsure about my future career path and project
management seemed like a perfect fit as it allowed me to delve into various
areas and roles.
The field of project management
opens doors to being part of forward-thinking and innovative organisations.
There is a constant stream of fascinating projects, especially in the
ever-evolving tech industry. This ensures that there will always be new and exciting
projects to work on, keeping me engaged and challenged.
What drew you to apply to
I applied for apprenticeships
at large corporate companies with the goal of gaining the most valuable
caught my attention as it has global recognition, which I believe would provide
me with the best experience and expose me to a pool of highly skilled and
talented employees from whom I can learn.
The opportunity to gain
insights and knowledge from experts is advantageous for both professional and
personal development. Furthermore, Vodafone presents numerous avenues for
professional growth, ensuring a wealth of opportunities within the company.
Vodafone also has great
benefits such as pension, insurance, resources, and salary. There are lots of
talented employees who you can learn from, giving you the opportunity to learn
from people who are experts in their fields, which is great for professional
and personal development. As well as there being many professional
opportunities within Vodafone.
What does a normal day look
like for you at your apprenticeship?
For me, a normal day as a
project management apprentice looks like this:
This is what a typical day
would look like, but not every day. There are many events that I attend such as
PI Planning, but this is only held every quarter and it is an event where the
team plan for the upcoming 3 months. All teams will plan which features they
would like to commit to complete in the next 3 months and allocate this into
sprints, which have a duration of 2 weeks. As always, any risks must be
discussed and reflected in JIRA.
I spend 20% of my time dedicated to studying. To make this easier, I take one
day off a week to focus on my university work. This may involve attending
lectures or progressing on my assignments, updating my continuing professional
development log or my portfolio which all contribute to my qualification when I
What has been the biggest
highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
There have been many highlights
throughout my journey at Vodafone, however one experience that stood out to me
was in my second year where I took part in an internal project called
TechBoost. This is where young professionals were responsible for developing a
solution to a specific challenge.
My team aimed to enhance
communication and visibility among Vodafone stakeholders, and we accomplished
this by creating a comprehensive incident reporting solution that ensured
efficient cross-communication globally. After six months, there was a
presentation where all teams had the opportunity to showcase their progress
throughout this time frame. This was a great experience as everyone got to have
an insight into the other teams’ projects and their experiences alongside this.
Additionally, I have been able
to enhance my skills through various training courses and qualifications,
opening doors to new learning opportunities.
It's good to have some
friendly competition with your team! And of course, to build on that,
have there been any challenges at all?
When transitioning from A Levels
to studying and working simultaneously, it can become challenging at times.
However, I find that with Northumbria University the workload is manageable.
of the great benefits is that Northumbria University provides opportunities to
complete exams such as APM PMQ, Agile Exam, or Prince2. In my case, I have
selected APM PMQ which I plan to take this year. This is the first closed-book
exam that I have taken since A Levels.
To ensure I allocate sufficient
time for university studies, I ensure that I take one day off a week. Even when
there are no lectures scheduled, I still take this day to focus on reviewing
course materials, incorporating feedback from previous assignments, or looking
into other relevant documents such as my continuing personal development log.
I also face challenges at times
due to the lack of experience within the working world, however with the
support of colleagues this becomes easier!
Because of those challenges
do you have a good support network around you?
I am fortunate to have a strong and reliable support network at Vodafone. Both my manager and team members
set a great example by holding regular checkpoint calls. These calls are not
only focused on work-related matters, but they also provide the opportunity to
discuss and receive guidance on university-related concerns. This ensures that
I can address any highlights, concerns, or questions that I may have, and
receive the support I need in those areas.
Similarly, at university, you
are assigned a skills coach who is a designated point of contact to consult and
ask questions about assignments is incredibly helpful. My skills coach helps
break down my assignment, outlining what needs to be included, and helps
clarify any doubts I may have.
What advice do you have for
anyone considering doing an apprenticeship?
Take the time to
thoroughly research the specific role you are interested in, as well as
apprenticeships in general. Understand the qualifications and skills required,
as each company may have its own criteria. This will help you be better
prepared and more confident.
Reach out to
companies early on, before they officially announce their apprenticeship
schemes. Many companies do not publicly disclose their openings, so by
proactively reaching out, you can get a head start and increase your chances of
securing an apprenticeship.
values and culture of the company that you are applying to. This knowledge will
not only help during the application process but also ensure that the company
aligns with your own goals.
Update your CV
and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Tailor
these documents to each specific company that you are applying to.
asked interview questions and prepare specific examples that demonstrate your
skills and experiences. By doing so, you will be able to answer questions
confidently and effectively.
To not be
discouraged if you are not selected for an apprenticeship. Keep applying to
different opportunities and persevere as apprenticeships are extremely
competitive and not easy to get.
To learn more about Holly, as
well as the rest of our GetMyFirstJob Apprentice Ambassadors, click here. And
to start your own journey into project management, see what a career in projectmanagement could look like for you.
Please read it carefully and click the button below to confirm that you understand the changes.
GetMyFirstJob offers you a whole new way to find Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships, Work Experience and Graduate opportunities to get ahead. It’s not just a search tool – we’ll connect you with the Best Employers, Colleges & Providers and Universities to get you on the right track faster.