As part of National Apprenticeship Week, our apprentices have been sharing their stories providing us insight into the life of earning whilst learning. Charlee, our Degree Apprentice has kindly written about her experience before she followed the apprenticeship route, and how she is getting on.

Apprenticeship Diaries- How I Became an Apprentice

When I was younger, I had always dreamed of becoming a singer. I would forever be performing in front of family, friends and pretty much anyone who would sit down and listen. As time went by, and topics changed from playground gossip to career paths and choices, I found myself facing the big wide world with a dilemma: What do I actually want to be when I’m older?

Sure, the popstar lifestyle of Beyonce and Justin Bieber are extremely appealing, but I had reality on my shoulder and knew I had to explore my options to find the right path for me.

When I finished my A Levels, because I was unsure of what direction to go in I decided to put classroom education on hold and explore the world of digital marketing, as an opportunity was presented working in a local jewellers. After a 2 hour interview with the board of directors, I was asked to start straight away.

After 3 years of working alongside worldwide renowned brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier, and traveling across Europe to various events, soaking up as much knowledge and experience as possible I knew that marketing and business development was for me.

Merging my passion and experience, I reached out to a local charity who are well-known for their reputable services in aiding people to help achieve their goals. After reviewing my CV, I was offered a position with the company as a Business Development Officer whilst completing a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.

My CEO is extremely proactive in self-development and progression and trusted that the decision of which university I choose would be the right one. Birmingham is one of my favourite cities and with Aston being the UK’s leading university for Business, alongside their award winning status; it was a no-brainer for me to study there.

Since starting my apprenticeship, the modules go hand in hand with my job role. The course covers operational strategy, finance, project management, sales and marketing and various other important aspects of business. Not only has it aided my knowledge, but also helped me build relationships with my colleagues who work in different departments, gaining an overall understanding of managing a business.

Looking back, I have always been passionate about people and realised how much I enjoyed being at the forefront of communication and making a positive difference to people’s lives. If I were to give advice to future students, it would be to find something you are passionate about and really go for it. Make the most of every opportunity presented to you and never compare yourself to others.

My singing talents may now only be showcased along the M6 on my commute to work, but I couldn’t be happier with the direction that I am heading in working with a fantastic company and studying at a great university.