1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I currently work in Core Server Support. My standard day to day roles would be building and maintaining virtual and physical servers. I will also deal with any problems that business users have via the service desk and action any changes that need to be made. I am also involved in several projects that allows me to liaise with members of the business out with my team and work with them to achieve a specific goal.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt an incredible amount of IT skills during my time in Core Server Support. For instance, I have learnt how to build and maintain virtual servers and I have also learnt how to decommission them when they are no longer needed. Outside of that, I have touched many different areas including DNS, DHCP, backups, reboots and patching. Being in a business like this has also helped me develop my people skills and generally develop my communication skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Thus far I have extremely enjoyed my program for many reasons. The main one is that my team and my manager are extremely supportive and provide me with a incredible amount of opportunities that help develop my skills and also allow me to learn new skills that I would have initially thought would be beyond me. Thus far I feel the apprenticeship and the business have gone beyond any expectation that I have, they have provided me with so many opportunities and allowed me to develop in so many way that it has motivated me to learn more in various areas. I definitely think the job is extremely enjoyable, the work I am given interests me a lot even if it is challenging to complete, it allows me to really delve into that specific area and learn a lot while I am completing it.
4. How valued do you feel by Prudential UK?
I generally feel very valued by Prudential, especially given that they provide us with opportunities to meet Senior Managers and also provide us with support to do our jobs. My manager is extremely supportive of my work and has provided me with so many useful opportunities that have helped me build my core skills up and has also helped me learn new skills. The Senior Management also provided us with an Apprentice Away Day which entailed us going to London and performing several entertaining, fun and useful activities that not only built our skills up but also provided us with a way to meet the apprentices who are based down in England. It also provided us with a way to properly meet many of the Senior members of the organisation and even sit and talk to them over a few drinks which was extremely useful. my manager has also gotten me involved in several projects which has helped me gain recognition for the work I have done and has also further built up my skills.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme thus far has been very well organised. Effective skill building meeting have been scheduled well in advance to avoid us double booking and these meetings have been very relevant to what we are doing with the business. My manager will provide me with opportunities that allow me to work towards what I am studying and will also provide me with time that I may need to finish off coursework and attend training. The programme also provides us with regular check-up meetings whether it be with the apprenticeship manager or my own manager which once again emphasises the sheer amount of support that we get whilst doing our apprenticeship.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider has also been extremely supportive and efficient when it comes to helping us with our studies and generally our employment. We are always able to email him with any questions that we need answering and he will get back to us with 24 hours, though normally it can be within 10 minutes which is just fantastic and helps us reduce down time. They will also schedule visits well in advance where they will come into the office, observe how we work and also look over our coursework before we submit it. The training we are given on our apprenticeship is very relevant to what we are doing and further allows us to expand our interest in the chosen area. The lectures during the training are interesting and very up to date, often referencing real world examples that have only happened a few days ago but are still relevant to what are doing.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager provides me with all the support I could possibly ask for. If I want more work, he will happily provide me with more work, if I want a quick chat with him, he will happy provide me with the time to do that. Thus far he has given me so many opportunities that are aimed at specifically improving my skills and allowing me to learn about the various areas of the business and the job I am currently employed to do. My Mentor also provides me with a lot of support from outwith the team, he will provide me with advice on how to go about doing things and will generally just act as a way of taking me away from my work for a short while for a quick break which is fantastic. Generally, the attitude around the business is very much about supporting me and the other apprentices; so many people will help you if you ask them and you honestly have so much support to learn about so many different things which is just fantastic.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary meets my living costs perfectly for what I am doing currently. I drive 62 miles to get to work each day and obviously do the same back which is quite expensive when it comes to fuel but the salary allows me to easily afford to do that. I also purchase lunch from the canteen at work which is also covered by my salary and it is made even cheaper because the food is subsidised. Overall I end up having a large chunk of my wage left when I take these two things into consideration which allows me to save it up or use it for other activities outwith the business.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As mentioned earlier, there are several interesting activities that Prudential (PGDS) provide to us which helps us get to know each other and our team in an informal environment. The Apprentice away day that was mentioned above was one of these extremely useful activities that has been given to us. The team also has meals out at Christmas and goes out for drinks which further provides us with an informal way of chatting about the business and generally chatting about things out with the business.
9a. Would you recommend Prudential UK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The apprenticeship has just provided so much in terms of developing useful skills and generally gaining experience via helpful opportunities. Truthfully, the Prudential (PGDS) provides the apprentice with skills and experience that they can use in any other business around the world. It also allows you to mix with any others such as your team and department which allows you to meet others who have gone through different experiences and will be able to give you advice on a multitude of things.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Prudential UK? *
I'd say the main piece of advice that people should consider would be to be yourself. Nobody is going to judge you for who you are and more often than not, they want somebody who is happy to stand by their interests rather than just say what somebody want to hear. They want people who are motivated to do the job and are willing throw themselves into it. The opportunities that these apprenticeships offer and beyond anything you could ever ask for, so really try your hardest to make a good impression since you will not regret the experience that you will gain via doing it.
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