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Before breaking up for the long Summer holidays, there is that period where your teachers are urging you to make a decision about your future. For me, being in this position I didn’t care. I wanted to get out of the school gates to enjoy the late nights and not having those early mornings. Couldn’t I just panic a week before September?

From the students and teachers I have spoken with since engaging in apprenticeships, there seems to be more structure and it’s fantastic that a lot of students know where and what they want to do. Well done to the guys involved in CSAB (Connected School and Business Programme)! So what happens when you finish your entry level apprenticeship? This was a decision I had to make exactly a year ago.

I completed my Level 3 with TDM and if you have read my previous posts or met me, you’d soon learn that I put a huge amount of time and effort into my job. Not only am I passionate about the job I do, I love the company and am fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive team. My day to day duties continue to increase, which has been a massive learning curve, with me having to understand more about management and delegation (a toughie when Mummy Rawlings always taught me to just get on and do it!). With this in mind, I began to get concerned about my time management. TDM had advised me that there was a big difference between a Level 3 and a Level 4 apprenticeship. Could I fit this in with everything else?

Unfortunately at the time, TDM didn’t offer a Level 4 (they do now which is great news!), so I began searching for alternative Marketing courses that would enable me to stay with my current employer. During my search, I was amazed at the amount of flexible and tailored apprenticeships that are out there. Noting that my job is very hands-on and requires me to occasionally work 14 hour shifts, I needed to find something that would fit in. Although I have accumulated a load of contacts and have experienced things I would never have dreamed of, I always want to learn and felt I needed the support of a qualification.

I qualified for a Level 4 CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) after having completed a level 3 and holding a managerial position with The Replacement Service. What made this even better was I was able to do it all online and at my own speed. After selecting my modules, I could enroll on each one as and when. I am incredibly happy to have made this decision and it just proves how great apprenticeships and the learning providers are!

So… exactly a year ago I enrolled onto my Level 4 alongside taking on a HUGE new project with one of the UK’s largest insurers. Creating this new insurance initiative has been a year of my life and yesterday this was officially launched to the general public! A great early birthday present!

Keep posted on my year. For regular updates, follow me on Twitter @No1_apprentice

Victoria x

Higher Apprentice and Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year 2015

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