I joined Virgin Media’s first apprenticeship scheme back in 2008. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in a variety of different roles and to see many different parts of the business. The scheme has helped me to not only progress in my career but also to develop a well-rounded skill set. At the end of 2017; I became the Senior Operational Readiness Manager. Now, my job is to help make sure that the operations are prepared for launches of new products, packages, and processes.
Why an apprenticeship was right for me
I decided to take on an apprenticeship because at the time I didn’t have a set idea on what I wanted to do after my A-levels, and didn’t want to risk starting a degree that might not suit me. What really appealed to me was the hands on aspect of the apprenticeship route. I’ve always preferred learning through experience so I wanted to get out in the world and earn money while I learned.
Getting paid whilst being trained up was a major bonus, but for me, the biggest benefit has been some of the experiences I’ve had whilst working in the business, you know, those skills that just can’t be taught in a classroom. My apprenticeship has really refined my interpersonal skills, which I believe has been one of the biggest drivers in getting me to where I am today.
It’s unfortunate, but I think there are still so many misconceptions about apprenticeships. Some people think that they’re designed for people who aren’t smart enough or can’t afford university. This is definitely not the case; it’s just a different way of learning and reaching your goals, one that also comes with a regular wage and fantastic opportunities to apply your learning and experience in the real world every single day. It’s also clear that many people still don’t know about the huge range of levels on offer with apprenticeships, you can actually go above and beyond degree level.
Top tips for prospective apprentices
The best advice I could give someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be: do your research and find a reputable company. When researching, be sure to think about the future career prospects of the role you’re looking at, find out what qualifications you’ll be gaining and make sure it ticks the boxes for you. Once you’ve found the right one, throw yourself into it, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out! If you work hard and seize every opportunity you’ll be able to build a great career out of your apprenticeship scheme. You’ll also have a great time in the process!
My greatest achievement so far
I was awarded apprentice of the year by the other apprentices in my team. The fact that they had taken the time to nominate me to win was amazing, and made me feel very proud to have deserved their recognition. I’m also really proud of how I’ve been able to progress my career through a variety of roles, and grow significantly as a person. I’m excited for the challenges I’ll face in the future and really I’m glad I chose Virgin Media as the company to kick start my career.