Have you at any point, been lost in the midst of it all. Education, school, college or university?
Ever felt completely helpless in regards to taking the next step forward?
Not knowing what to do after finishing school was honestly one of the most frustrating phases. There is an overwhelming amount of pressure on young people to go to university these days and I feel as if many individual’s vocation and aspirations become drowned out by this expectation.
In early November it dawned on me that despite my planned efforts to stay in school and make it to university, uni wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I wanted to gain real life experience. I wanted to gain practical insights, to work, learn and to earn. I wanted to do something different, defying the odds - I wanted to be an Apprentice.
Whilst Apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a more common alternative to further education - many seem to be unsure of their success. Many question their validity, whether or not they can lead to a promising, aspirational future, or whether they are just a quick fix to fill in skill gaps for those who do not wish to reach further up the education systems ladder.
Since choosing to do a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration at Filtered - not only have I learnt through knowledge building, I've learnt through practicality. I've developed personally and intellectually.
Despite, not going to university I believe that my success will be down to my sheer determination, capability, and willingness to learn and progress.
I would like to share with you 6 things I have learnt since starting my role at Filtered.
Being outgoing has always allowed me to form strong relationships personally. Known as a “Social Butterfly” at my previous college, I had always been keen to get to know new people and be in a collaborative environment.
On the down side, I had never made use of my social abilities professionally. I may have had the energy to be the life and soul of every party, yet not having the right practical environment to grow in put my social skills on lockdown.
Since working for Filtered my social abilities have developed with the correct practice. I now use my social energy in the office to liaise with clients and communicate as part of a collective team.
Initially, I even struggled to carry out phone calls confidently - but now I jump at the chance of answering a call! I’ve grown in terms of self-assurance and knowledge that allows me to communicate the greatness of our Filtered content.
I believe that solid communication skills have built a foundation for me to prosper in the future. It’s so important to be able to get your point across, to learn from others and to review - in every career path.
2. Microsoft Program Usage
When I started working for Filtered, I hadn’t done an awful amount of work using Microsoft software. If I had used a Microsoft program it would have been for a school project or an essay - basic functions, to say the least. I was least familiar with Excel. Manipulating data, complicated sums and merging cells are a few of the functions I have begun to pick up. That's not to mention the ability to store and retrieve 1000s of contacts to form a sales and marketing master list.
As for the use of PowerPoint - with continuous practice and a need to use the program for editing and developing presentations, I have really come a long way. My manager can now assign me tasks to create instructional guides or information on our Filtered platform to send to clients.
Attention to detail is a vital component of my role. Before working I would pay no attention to font size or positioning of text boxes. My presentations had a lack of structure and consistency. I now pay attention to these components, which has an overall impact on the quality of my work.
Can I be honest? Before I started working, I didn’t know what to expect from administrative work. Attention to detail, organization, time keeping and structure are all skills that I have improved on, given their necessity to my role. I've found Administration to be a great starting point and the skill base I have developed will remain relevant throughout my career, regardless of the job role I may develop into.
4. Confidence and Personal Development
My confidence and initiative have grown immensely. I now know that the answers that I wish for lie within myself. Before working I did not believe in my abilities - but work has opened my eyes to many opportunities that I didn’t even know existed previously. I now have a steady amount of responsibility and every chance of success. I realize my potential!
Being part of a proactive Sales and Marketing team that have used their abilities to bring out the best in me, train me and helped me to see the significance of my input within our work - has quite literally allowed me to borrow the name of our successful consumer brand - Excel with Business!
5. Algorithm and Adaptive Technologies
Algorithms - a process or set of rules in calculations problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
Okay, being totally honest with you I had not even heard of an algorithm before starting my role at Filtered. Never mind working for a company whose entire product offering is based on the clever use of algorithms!
Algorithms form the core basis for all of Filtered online courses by personalizing the course to each individual. I now have a good understanding of why the algorithm plays a key role in our courses and why our clients love it.
There's a new set of algorithms that have been built up for our new product global filter - have a look here.
Not only have I learnt the role algorithms play in my work but also in modern day technology e.g. Google, Spotify, Netflix etc.
6. Our Filtered Platform
The Filtered Platform itself, I have learnt so much about! With access to all of our in house demonstrations and personal practical usage - I have quickly picked up on our modular content, The objectives, outcomes, and intentions of our e-learning platform and the relevance of our library to the workforce.
Learning the display and functionality of the Filtered platform and the specific functions of our dashboard, i.e the layout, modular content and being informed on the syllabus has allowed me to be informative in terms of our product and to answer customer queries.
One of my future objectives is to use my knowledge to carry out onboarding webinars, to new inexperienced users.
There you have it, the top 6 things I have learnt since starting my Apprenticeship. I hope to continue learning and performing to the best of my ability when growing in terms of my career. With learning being an ongoing process - who knows where my skills might land me? .. Just the beginning - The best is yet to come!
Thanks for reading but before you go I want to leave you with one of my favourite quotes:
“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill and the willingness to learn is a choice” - Brian Herbert