One of Babington’s own, an apprentice Recruitment Support Adviser, Sophie, told us about her experience so far as an apprentice. Working towards her Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration, Sophie has set her sights on a career in recruitment at Babington.
Hi Sophie, please tell us a bit about yourself.
My main hobby and passion is dancing. I’ve danced since I was little and have competed all around the world. I’ve won a few titles including World Champion in freestyle, and I plan to attend a competition next year. I’m currently training three times a week, which is hard but I just love it. Before my apprenticeship, I worked at a Hairdressers during my last year of school which I really enjoyed, but I realised I wanted a career with more progression.
What made you decide to go for an apprenticeship?
When speaking to people I always found that going for an apprenticeship was the better option because you’re earning money at the same time. When you’re 16, 17, you want to earn money because all your friends are going out and enjoying themselves. My parents always told me that experience nowadays is a lot more valuable to employers, and they look at that on your CV more than your qualifications.
When you’re leaving school, you’re looked at as a child and an employer can’t see that you can interact with people older than yourself, but an apprenticeship gives you that experience and maturity to be able to work in an office.
What’s your apprenticeship like? Tell us about a typical day and the skills you’ve developed?
When I started my apprenticeship I’d never really done admin based work. My job at the moment is recruitment support and I do all of the advertising for the apprenticeship vacancies. It’s busy and I have to juggle a lot. I have to do quite a few reports for the business, and at the moment I’ve been monitoring our department spend, and showing whether this is bringing in learners and employers.
My role also includes supporting my line manager, especially when she is busy. Whilst I’ve been in the role my confidence has grown, and I’ve really improved my time management and working to deadlines.
What are your plans after finishing your apprenticeship?
I’d like to go on to be a Learner Support Adviser, because since being an apprentice I like the idea of helping people find an apprenticeship, it’s really rewarding when you help someone find a placement, especially if they’ve never had a job.
Do you have any tips for someone starting an apprenticeship?
When I first started my apprenticeship I had a lot of self-doubt. I was worried that all of my friends were going to college and I was one of the few people going for an apprenticeship. I’d say not to worry about your doubts, and just go for it!
At school they influence you a lot to go to college and go to university, because that’s more academic, and the school think that’s what employers look for. But actually, when you leave school when you go out looking for a job, you realise that employers are looking for experience over qualifications.
What did your parents think about your apprenticeship at first? What do they think now?
My parents have always been supportive of the apprenticeship route, because my mum always said that it’s not just about qualifications, it’s your experience and who you know. So if you’re in an industry you get to know people, you build a valuable network.
My mum is really happy I’ve started an apprenticeship with Babington, and she’s always encouraged me to go for what I want and be independent. My apprenticeship lets me be independent, which I don’t think I’d feel had if I’d gone to university.