Prior to the Apprenticeship scheme I was studying IT at college and working at WH Smith as a part time assistant. I always knew I wanted a career in IT, so after completing my level 3 extended diploma I started looking at the next steps available for me to take.
“ I wasn't too sure what to do next, but I decided against university as I knew I wanted a hands-on education. ”
With this in mind, I started looking for Apprenticeship schemes instead.
Nationwide is a huge employer in Swindon and I’d heard a lot of positive things about the company, so when I came across their Apprenticeship scheme advertised on the government website I decided to apply.
I joined Nationwide on an IT Apprenticeship which meant I could play to my strengths. I quickly found that starting as an apprentice gave me a lot of fantastic development opportunity. Right from the get-go I could sense that I’d made the right choice.
Although I’d had work experience in retail, this was my first ‘proper job’. To help ease my transition into the new corporate environment, I was assigned a peer mentor within my team. This provided me with the support and guidance I needed to get my feet off the ground! Once I’d become competent in my role, I found that a lot of opportunities were coming my way.
One of the key moments from being on the scheme was being able to have a working lunch with Tony Prestedge, our Chief Operating Officer.
Tony exerted his passion and drive for the company and further solidified this was a special organisation with a strong customer focus principle that is often missed by so many other organisations.
Another exciting event was being selected to meet with Boris Johnson to discuss apprenticeships, which is certainly something different!
Being on the Apprenticeship scheme allowed me the opportunity to learn practical IT skills, bespoke skills and gain knowledge of how an IT division is structured. The opportunity to learn on the job was great for someone like me who learns more by doing.
Looking back, I can say that I was definitely able to maintain a great work/life balance whilst I was on the scheme. Working full time meant that I was able to have the evenings and weekends to make time for things that are important outside of work. I was also able to invest the great pay I received on the scheme towards buying new musical instruments which was exciting!
When my time on the scheme came to an end, I felt that I’d really developed professionally as well as personally.
I was offered a full time position and was able to start my career in IT – something I’ve always dreamed of. A little over a year later, I was promoted to my current role – Technical Specialist. In this role I’m in charge of the resolution of IT incidents and several projects that work towards greater IT resiliency and operations.
Since coming off the scheme, I’ve set myself new goals outside of work. I’m currently in the process of saving up for furniture and household goods, in preparation for moving in with my girlfriend. My long term goal is to have a dedicated studio space with some sweet outboard gear – an 1176 and a LA-2A would be nice!
A Nationwide apprenticeship isn't just being trained for a job, it’s an opportunity to launch your career.
I’d definitely recommend the Apprenticeship scheme to anyone looking for a place where there is great opportunity for development. Throughout the Apprenticeship, you’re presented with the chance to meet faces from all over the organisation, and opportunities that you’d likely never encounter as a regular employee. Development is served on a plate and opportunities are plenty. I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my career!
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