I wanted to do an apprenticeship for several reasons, it gives me the opportunity to learn all the same skills (if not more and at a higher standard as they are applied regularly) without the debt. It also means you can learn from someone who does the job rather than someone who can read the textbook. It also allows you to not worry about finding a job straight out of university where everyone is looking for the same jobs in the same areas with the same qualifications.
There are multiple people I have received support from in my apprenticeship, I don’t think there is a single person in my department that I haven’t asked a question when I have been working on new tasks from case staff to managers and partners. Everyone understands we work in a complicated area of accounting and no case is the same, giving things a go, asking questions taking on advice is encouraged. They would rather you ask questions or give it a go and make a note to ask when you submit some work than you struggle in silence.
There is also a team at First Intuition that are there for you to ask questions whether it’s course material related you can go to your tutor, or whether it is work related you can go to your skills coach. There is also a safeguarding team should you need it.
No two days are the same in an apprenticeship, one day you can be fairly quiet maybe have a few phone calls to make chasing HMRC or drafting a few letters and the next day you might have a few investigations into companies and their directors or packs of documents for pre and/or post appointment.
I’d say the best part of being an apprentice is having the opportunity to learn and gain qualifications in your field surrounded by professionals that have done it for numerous years. You get to learn more than anyone in university as you gain tips and tricks from your colleagues that you then apply to learning course material for your qualification. It makes work and study so much easier as you cross reference between the two.
Being an apprentice benefits my career by giving me the same qualifications any degree will give me, alongside a head start into work as I already have the job, know the people, have the potential character references if I was to change jobs, know how my office works alongside having several people supporting along the way. It also fast-tracks your career progression as you have the opportunity to impress bosses and show colleagues what you can do, they get to know you as a person as well as a colleague which puts you at an advantage when the opportunity for promotion arises.
When deciding between an apprenticeship or university you have to know how you learn and what is going to benefit you the most. If you learn by giving things a go and learning along the way and you want to go into a field where a degree isn’t strictly required, I couldn’t recommend an apprenticeship enough. You do have to be prepared to have the boring tasks at first like any other job, but if you stick to it and recognise that even in the boring jobs there is an opportunity for learning and growth you will ultimately be on your way to the top of the ladder. It is important that when you chose an apprenticeship that you also consider things that affect you as well as your career such as office environment.
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