1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Customer Operations Advisor. I get the opportunity to rotate around the business during the course of my apprenticeship, which is very beneficial as I can learn about different areas of the business and get an idea of what areas I want to work in after I have completed my apprenticeship.
I start my apprenticeship off at Retail Customer Services, then move to New Business after 4 months, then go to Retail Contract Hire.
Some of my daily tasks involve admin work and calls. We also get set little projects by our team leaders to help with involvement and build necessary skills for work, like time-management to meet deadlines, confidence and communication. I also have deadlines to meet by my training provider, who is always there to support me.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I first started my apprenticeship I struggled a lot with my confidence. I made my team leader aware of this and they supported me by making me do little things out of my comfort zone. For example, doing presentations and buzz sessions with my team. Looking back I appreciate everything my team leader and my team did to help boost my confidence.
I had just finished school when I started my apprenticeship and being set different projects or having to submit a assignment for my training provider, really helped me develop further on my time management skills, as I had to set a time to complete the work that has been set.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have been on my apprenticeship for nearly 5 months now and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I feel like now that I am more confident with the processes I work and the company environment, I enjoy it more. Everyone is so supportive which is so important, because you’re never left in the dark. If you’re unsure on something everyone is willing to help you.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
A the start of my apprenticeship I felt like it wasn't very organised as I didn't really know what to do, so it started off very slow. But now 4 months in I feel like it has changed and become very structured. I am always notified when I have certain meetings to attend, regarding my apprenticeship or notified when there's a rotation coming up.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have received a lot of support within my team in Retail Customer Services, which I am very grateful for, as my team have done everything to try and help me whenever they can.
From helping me run through my presentations, to allowing me as much time that I need with my apprenticeship coursework.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I feel like I don't receive enough support from my training provider. I haven't studied finance before and all my qualifications are all financed based, so I feel that I will tend to struggle when it comes to doing my exams and coursework because I am at a disadvantage.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification that I am studying towards helps me in many ways with my job role.
When I was in retail customer services, I mainly did refinance and transfers. Refinance is when a customer wants to continue financing the car that they have chosen to purchase to initially pay off their balloon payment.
The topics I have to study for my qualification allows me to get a better idea of how everything works.
Overall it makes my role so much easier as I understand all the different aspect of financial services and I can give real life examples, which helps me learn faster.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Volkswagen Financial Services have a football club that is held every Tuesday evening where the team trains for different tournaments that they will be competing in against different companies like Mercedes for example.
Volkswagen also like to do team meet ups, where teams discuss all sorts of things, work related and non-work related.
9a. Would you recommend Volkswagen Financial Services to a friend?
I would recommend the Volkswagen Financial Services apprenticeship to a friend as it’s a great way to get real work exposure/experience and it also is a brilliant way to rotate around the business to determine what areas you enjoy best and what areas that are not for you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Volkswagen Financial Services?
My advice would be is to network with others around you, as it boost your confidence and also helps you out in the long run.
My tips would be to make sure you create some sort of log book, where you can take note of all the different things you got up to. As you will need to put together a portfolio which will be marked at the end of your apprenticeship.