1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I was the Store Operations Events Apprentice and my job was to basically help plan and run the conferences that we did within our team. Prior to an event it was my job to make sure that invites were sent out to delegates and trackers were made of peoples responses of whether they were attending or not, if they required travel or accommodation, their menu choices and they're dietary requirements. I then made sure that all travel and accommodation was booked and communicated to the delegates. I also made sure that the venues knew the delegates menu choices and dietary requirements. I would also take part in weekly/monthly catch up calls with the events agency where I would take notes to send out to the attendees of the call after. I would also look over contracts and help out with AV requirements. I would also help to create goody bags which could be from 50 to 1200 people. Whilst at an event I would help to facilitate by making sure that all delegates know where they are going, I would help to give out goody bags and just make sure that they day is running how it should be. If I wasn't helping to plan or run an event, I would help with some Store Operations work such as tracking area manager store visit or exporting surveys.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My communication skills have definitely got a lot better as I find it much easier to speak to people now. I would also say my confidence within myself has got a lot better as I don't have as much self doubt anymore. My IT skills have also strengthened as I now know how to use Excel to a much more advanced point. The apprenticeship has given me a Level 2 Business Administration Course and an IT skills qualification.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed my apprenticeship programme as I learnt a lot about myself and also the company of Superdrug. I have made some amazing friends and had the best team to work with. It definitely exceeded my expectations as I thought it was going to be a lot more education/school type work based. I think it is amazing to be able to learn whilst working/earning as it really prepares you for adult life.
4. How valued do you feel by Superdrug?
I do feel valued at Superdrug as I was really appreciated and recognised by my manager and team - it was a lovely feeling to have. I was involved with a lot of different departments in Superdrug when it came to the conferences. I also spent some time in store which gave me a real insight into store life and I met some amazing people there.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I thought it was really good that he apprentices have the same induction as the regular employees of Superdrug as it helps to make us feel as valued as everyone else. I received support from a lot of people such as my manager, my team and my assessor. I think the catch up meetings with my assessor should have been on a monthly basis as sometimes it was hard to discuss what I have been doing over a 2-3 month period - as I got through my apprenticeship work so quickly I think I could have been given my next target during a shorter time frame so that I could have had my units completed/signed off quicker. Sometimes my targets could have been written out/explained a bit clearer so that I had full understanding of what I needed to be getting on with. It was good to get feedback on the work that I completed and I was recognised a lot by my assessor which was really nice.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I received some really good feedback from my assessor with the work that I completed and she would let me know what I need to do to complete the unit. She would also come and give feedback to my manager which was always really positive and nice to hear. I think my catch ups with my assessor could have been done on a more regular basis as sometimes it was hard to catch up on what I have been doing over quite a long period.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I had a lot of support from my manager and my team and they would help me with any of my work that I didn't understand or that I needed advice on.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Whilst doing the apprenticeship I didn't have a lot of expenses to pay so the salary/package was really good and probably one of the best apprenticeship wages I have heard of. However now that I have more expenses to pay for I wouldn't be left with a lot left over for lunch and other things that I may need. I think the wage should depend on the age of the apprentice.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are sometimes some talks/events after work in head office which are good to watch and are usually very inspirational.
9. Would you recommend Superdrug to a friend?
I think it is a great company to work for and there are lots of opportunities to move up in job roles or even into different departments. There is lots of support in and out of the office which I think helps employees to feel at ease if they ever have any queries/problems. You are always learning something new in the company and are always kept in the loop about what is happening which I think really brings everyone together.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Superdrug?
Make sure that you have a rough idea about the company by going into store and watching the staff and their service and also read up on your job description as it is always great to know what will be expected of you. Get stuck in and have fun!