1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an HR Apprentice, my daily role is extremely admin heavy e.g. booking courses, payroll, predominantly email queries. I tend to only interact with people if they have a general query. I also assist with recruitment i.e. setting up interviews, responding to candidates and agencies, setting up agency briefings etc. I don't tend to work on many projects, although this would be of interest.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Admin skills Developed time management Ability to work with a variety of different people Would like to learn more practical skills specific to HR e.g. reporting back to stakeholders, having the ability to challenge, how to carry out interviews etc.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoyed it a lot when I first started, as I feel I had team members who were keen to give me practical experience and involve me, however the team has now changed and now that I am doing the same admin work everyday it has become less enjoyable. It can sometimes come across that you have been given the tasks that nobody else has the time to do. Also, the learning experience that I have had with my training provider has not been the best either which I had raised from the start of my programme. As well as this, I am the only apprentice in real estate so haven't been able to interact with a lot of the other apprentices because they are all based in M&G Investments.
4. How valued do you feel by M&G Investments?
Majority of people are appreciative of the work you produce for them, however some do not have consideration for your workload and the fact that you are also studying as well as working.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I haven't had a structure to my apprenticeship, as real estate is a very small team compared to M&G Investments so everyone's role is quite general rather than specialised. Therefore, I can't structure my apprenticeship as a rotation through different departments to get an idea of what each department does, as different situations can come up at any time. For example, M&G Investments have a talent planning team whereas we do not so I will only get an overview of what talent planning involves when the annual talent and succession process is run, but I only took part in the admin activities.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Bare minimum as everything is online. All assignment guidance is given online which tends to have technical issues majority of the time so is not convenient, as you then have to spend an hour of your time watching the recording and then if you have any questions you have to set up a call with your tutor. Also, the live lessons that we receive last for 3 hours, of which you spend 90% of the time being told to read an article or watch a Youtube video which is hardly stimulating. There has also been a number of changes to who students should contact for what, which has caused confusion around what you need to do for each assignment. For example, I was given assignment guidance by a tutor for one of my units, this tutor was then replaced by somebody else and when I handed in my work, the new tutor had told me I hadn't passed the unit because of a number of things that I needed to include which I wasn't informed of when I was given the assignment guidance from the previous tutor.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager offers a lot of support to try and help with my studies however, because he is mainly focused on reward, if I want to be involved in a particular activity I cannot rely on him to make this happen as other members of the team need to do this. I feel the support from my manager is always there if I need it, but support from the rest of my team is not. Also, I don't feel like much action was taken after all of the times that I had raised a concern about an incident I have had with my training provider. I'd expressed from the beginning of my course that they were not providing adequate support nor was the style of learning beneficial to me but nothing was done about it and I'm always being told to 'stick it out'. However, I don't feel that this should be the case, as I am doing a higher level qualification which is equivalent to a degree, I feel like I should be learning and having stimulating classroom sessions rather than watching Youtube videos for 3 hours. Also, HR is the career path that I have chosen to follow so I would like to learn as much as I can during the two years of my apprenticeship.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Salary is good for my age, however would be useful if the pay was weekly instead of monthly, as I provide a lot of support to my mum and have a number of expenses to pay for e.g. phone bill, car etc.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Real Estate do not have many opportunities outside of work, however M&G Investments do hold a few events e.g. quiz nights, zumba classes etc. but these aren't of much interest for me personally.
9a. Would you recommend M&G Investments to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
My experience in Real Estate has probably been different to those in M&G Investments, as I am the first apprentice in Real Estate. However, I feel that in Real Estate there isn't very much opportunity to develop yourself and workload is so high that you tend to focus on just getting things done, which I feel has resulted in me not really having someone specific to mentor me and give me a bit more support to develop myself because nobody has the time.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to M&G Investments? *
Ensure it is a role you want to do before you apply by carrying out a bit of research, as you will be dedicated to it for at least a year as well as having to study for a qualification which takes up a lot of your time due to working full time.
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