I didn’t really know what career path I wanted to take after leaving school, but it wasn’t too much of an issue at the time. Like most of my friends, I earned a living working several jobs behind the bar and waitressing at a local restaurant.
I got by, but more and more I was thinking about my life and a career. I couldn’t really afford to go back to study full-time, but I had heard about apprenticeships – an opportunity to earn whilst you learn. However, at 23, I didn’t think this was an option; surely I was too old to start learning something new?
Anyway, whilst out and about with friends, I came across a job at a local salon for an admin assistant. It sounded like something I
would enjoy and the extra cash was welcome at the time. I enquired and the salon manager informed me that they were looking for an apprentice and gave me the details. I was surprised to see that I was still within the age bracket (16-24) and after a bit of research and several interviews later, I was offered the job as a trainee Business Administration Assistant and would be working whilst I studied for an NVQ qualification at Wirral Metropolitan College.
Having met with the college tutors and my new employer, I was ready for the challenge and I was excited to get started. My family were proud and I could finally start to settle in to a routine of work, learning something new and gaining experience.
12 months in to my apprenticeship, I was feeling really enthusiastic and wanted to take my learning further. Unfortunately though, the salon wasn’t able to support me to the level I needed and after a review with the college, I started a fresh here at ICE.
I quickly settled in to my new role as trainee Business Administration Assistant – there was lots of room for me to grow and develop and I learned something new everyday. Working in such a fast-paced organisation meant that there were lots of opportunities for me to get involved in different projects such as research, events and campaign support. But most of all, I enjoyed working as part of the operations team, supporting the executive assistant to our CEO and supporting the wider organisation on a day to day basis.
By combining my skills from previous jobs with my new found skills in administration and customer service, I was able to gain more responsibility within ICE. My confidence grew and I became one of the team.
Whilst I was really enjoying what I was doing and was experiencing new things everyday, it was a challenge and I had to stay focused at all times. As well as undertaking tasks at work, learning news skills and techniques, I also had to keep on track with my college coursework, but being Dyslexic meant I struggled to write and I found it a challenge at times to carry out tasks as well and as quickly as I wanted to. Having a good relationship with my college tutor helped as I was able to raise this and find different ways to make this work. Not only that, but having the support from the whole team at ICE meant that I could successfully complete my NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration.
This was a real achievement for me and I was so proud when I was offered a permanent job within ICE, supporting the operations team. It’s been almost six months now and already I’m growing within the organisation – learning something new everyday and developing my skills. I’ve faced some tough challenges along the way, but they have been worth it and I’m really enjoying my new career. I’ve made some good friends too and have never looked back.
Kirsty Britton, ICE Creates Ltd