Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
Once I had finished college, I wanted to continue to pursue higher qualifications in IT. This left me with the two options of an apprenticeship or university. I chose an apprenticeship for its workflow and learning environment. After the many years of academic study at school and college I wanted a more dynamic and practical method of learning. The apprenticeship not only catered for this, but also offered additional opportunities to learn valuable skills and progress within a working office environment.
What do you enjoy most about the apprenticeship at Ashfords? / What's great about working at Ashfords?
Ashfords is a very socially inviting and welcoming environment in which to learn and work. My colleagues vary extensively in roles and backgrounds. There are people with decades worth of experience as well as junior employees in the same boat as me. The work ethic within the firm is fantastic and Ashfords is very supportive of each of its employees, always putting individual needs and considerations at the top of its priorities.
What advice would you give to someone looking for / applying for an apprenticeship?
Whenever you are looking for the next step in your life, you should consider the progression opportunities and how it will act as a step on the ladder up to the next stage. Will this benefit you in the future? How will the knowledge and skills you acquire take you to your next destination? Equally as important is to do what you enjoy. It is a very overused phrase but still remains true. If you do not take pride in what you do, you could spend a lot of time in either disappointment or regret. Follow your ambitions.
What are the differences between school life and office life?
The two environments are miles apart. Office life almost can't be compared to the narrow timetabled structure of school. Within the office you are treated as a mature individual with a sense of responsibility and a route forward towards your goal. Office life is dynamic; there are no set periods of learning. The education curve varies with different challenges and obstacles thrown in your direction and you get better and better at overcoming them. You feel part of a team, no longer an individual on a path of their own. Rather than one person teaching you, it's a collective effort of many chipping in and passing their knowledge on to you. In my opinion school life and office life are nothing alike, and that's how it should be.
How does an apprenticeship work at Ashfords?
You act as an employee for the majority of the time, picking up vital skills and knowledge and being provided with tasks that are important for the organisation. As well as this, you are also given dedicated study periods within the week in order to focus your efforts on the academic coursework aspect of the apprenticeship programme, which ties in to the role that you play within your department.