1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job Title: Business Administration Apprentice
Daily Tasks: My apprenticeship allows me to move around the organisation and experience how different departments work. My current department is the IT department. My daily tasks include me checking the SPAM inbox and forwarding on genuine emails to active staff. I also unlock user accounts when the user has entered their password incorrectly more that three times. Replying to emails both internally and externally.
Responsibilities: - Ensure the SPAM inbox is clear before the end of the working day - Act as the first point of contact when new queries come in
Projects: I have undertaken a few projects within the IT team such as: - Adding active devices to a Domain Tracker spreadsheet - Updating computers/laptops with the latest software in light with the ransomware which attacked the NHS - Building/configuring Tablet PC's for contracted staff
What do I do every day?: Mainly gathering evidence for my apprenticeship and working to the best of my ability, even if that means staying a bit later to get the work done before I head home.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned: - How to answer the phone in a professional manner - To improve my confidence when faced with an internal/external query - To handle responsibility when things don't go the way they should
I have developed: - My knowledge of the IT field quite a bit - My interpersonal skills - My knowledge of the business as I have progressed within it
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I'm learning, but also at the same time can have a very busy workload. I really do enjoy it, especially working with the teams I have been with, they have definitely made me feel right at home when I first joined.
4. How valued do you feel by The Pioneer Group?
I feel valued within the organisation. My first project I received recognition on the noticeboard and was only there within my first two weeks. Every team I have been on, the Managers have appreciated my work and the time that I put in to make sure that I help the team the best I can. Not one team have I been in where I have felt like I'm not needed and that my work/effort is not valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Like I said, I get to move around the organisation so it may sometimes be a bit of a struggle where I don't actually get my college work done on the chosen day. However, I am lucky enough to re-schedule my coursework days and do my work when I can.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Sometimes it can be a real struggle when it comes to gathering evidence for my coursework as what the unit entails may not be relevant to the team that I am in. However, I am lucky enough to have an assessor who recommends observations while I'm working and that helps when it comes to collecting evidence.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is really great! They have supported me from the beginning. For the first 6 months, I was assigned a Buddy and Mentor to help me settle into the organisation, and anything I was unsure of I would have been able to speak to either.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
It is an apprenticeship at the end of the day. I can't complain much about my salary, as I live at home, so the costs of living are not really too high for me. However, travelling costs can be a bit of an issue, especially if public transport is delayed, and I have to use alternative methods of transport. Daily costs are not too bad now since I started bringing in my lunch. I used to rely on the local businesses for my lunch, but now I pop into one every so often.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Sometimes there are staff parties and away events which help especially when new starters join the business. Other than that I don't really do much outside of work. However, I am looking to change that.
9. Would you recommend The Pioneer Group to a friend?
It is a great company to work for. At first, you may not know for definite what you would like to do, but you have the opportunity to work in different departments which hopefully should help you make a decision in the second year where you choose you department you would like to work for.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to The Pioneer Group?
Always think positive! You may never know you might just get the job.