After having difficulty looking for jobs relevant to my skillset, towards the end of 2018 I decided to look for an apprenticeship. I had started studying at Heart of Worcestershire College in 2013 and achieved the qualifications that I wanted in 2018. Having not achieved the maths and English grades I hoped for in high school, this made me think that finding the right career was going to be a difficult journey and there might not be a bright future ahead for me.
Part of my challenges including being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome during my last year of high school. Making friends and settling into the new challenging environment of college at the time proved difficult; for me the biggest difficulty of it all was the anxiety and confidence problems brought on by having a social disability and difficulty with learning. But ultimately, this it was my determination to succeed that would define me and make me the person I am today.
During my time at college I managed to achieve a C in IGCSE English and Level 2 Diploma in ITQ (Information Technology Qualification) City and Guilds. But I became worried that because I hadn’t managed to achieve Level 2 functional skills maths qualification, it would set me back. However, something I like to remind myself is to always strive to achieve the best results, to the best of my ability, a trait that I look to apply in all my endeavours.
In my first year of college I was elected as the course representative for the IT course and in 2017 I achieved a Further Education Award at Heart of Worcestershire College. My favourite subject always been IT. I try to teach myself new techniques and skills every day that I can pick up and apply to my work life.
I decided university wasn’t for me due to the workload and potential financial challenges, so I decided that an apprenticeship was the best possible route.
Between August and December 2018 was a rocky point for me, having lost my maternal grandparents. I was very close to them as they always encouraged me to have high aspirations and to not give up. Nevertheless, I kept going and persevered with my aspirations and applied for an apprenticeship through Worcester Group Training Association – a vacancy in the Energy Team at Sanctuary Group. This was also my first interview for a paid job.
When I had the call to say I had got the job it came at the best and worst possible time, during the funeral wake for my grandfather. In my mind this wasn’t a bad time at all as each member of my family was there, even the long-distance members and – in my mind – my grandparents would be there too. The news prompted celebration around the room and gave me the motivation for the future ahead.
My role at Sanctuary sees me working as part of the Energy Team, which is responsible for processing the energy and water bills for all Sanctuary properties and office sites across the country. The team is very flexible and supportive and settling in I’ve found that everyone always has a smile and is ready to talk. I enjoy the flexibility and opportunities my role offers and say yes to every opportunity and challenge it presents – I’m always keen to make an effort and give everything a go.
I like to think that my academic journey has been the story of someone who started out shy, reserved and not sure where he was going to becoming someone confident, keen and sure of where he would like his future to go.
Finally, I would like to say that with strong commitment and dedication to succeed, success is down to our own development and willpower to persevere and to keep going with our aspirations. As they say, we are the architects of our own futures.