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“Don’t worry about the money, soak in the experience, focus on the bigger picture and reap the limitless benefits” Jake Rossiter, Infrastructure Technician, Dolphin Computer Access Ltd 

What initially drew you to applying to The Development Manager for an apprenticeship?

I was working full time; I really wanted to pursue a career in IT but didn’t know how, the jobs I looked at applying for all required experience that I didn’t have enough of. Through TDM I was able to embed into an IT role straight away and gain experience and knowledge whilst doing a job I really enjoyed at the same time. The short term financial sacrifice did not worry me as I wanted to prioritise the experience I was being exposed to and the career I was investing in.

How did you find the initial experiences like the interview process, orientation and the first meeting with your Key Skills Coach?

I found the experiences relaxed and not overwhelmingly pressurised, whilst also being informed of everything I needed to know and the expectations of me and my job role. The orientation itself I found really good, the tasks presented were really informative and I found it to be a great ice-breaker with the people around me. The other people on the programme were cool and we all found ourselves in the same boat which made the whole process seem much less daunting.  With regards to the coaching, this was constantly fantastic and everyone knew exactly what they were doing from the get go.

With regards to the programme in its entirety, how do you think this has impacted your skill-set and your overall job role in the workplace?

The skill-set I have learned has become so important to me. It has not only benefitted me in the workplace, but also in my personal life through interacting with people and having the knowledge and confidence to do so. I have a greater understanding of the business I now work within and I’ve built up technical skills on the job as well as the programme. In terms of my technical progress, this has been showcased and noticed through my promotion and pay rise.

How did you find the Technical Knowledge Modules? Were you able to implement what you had learned into the workplace?

Yes, absolutely, I was able to implement all aspects of the knowledge into my role at Dolphin which really benefited my progression. I found it especially helpful learning about networking knowledge and key legislation such as GDPR which gave me more autonomy through the knowledge and confidence when talking to customers and dealing with queries.

How did you find the coaching experiences? Did the collaboration between coach and mentor work well and enable you to feel successful in both areas?

Neil, my mentor in the workplace, found the collaboration great and felt that any question he needed to ask was answered and he constantly knew how on track I was, what I needed help focusing on and what I needed more exposure to.

What have you enjoyed most about the programme?

I have loved the fact that I have a guaranteed job in a sector that I have always wanted to work in. The program has allowed me to overcome the barrier of my previous lack of experience, as I am now learning and gaining knowledge and experience whilst doing the job I want at the same time. Gaining a wage whilst learning on the job and constantly developing my skill-set from professionals in the field is fantastic. Genuinely the whole experience has been life changing for me and my career.

Is there anything that you would change or adapt in order to better the experience?

Honestly, no. I felt the effort from every person around me who were helping and supporting me through my apprenticeship. I found all of the Knowledge Modules long enough and allowed me to gain the most out of all of them.

What practical advice would you give to a learner who is just starting their apprenticeship journey?

First and foremost I would say do not worry about the money, if you focus on the bigger picture and soak up the whole experience, you will reap all of the benefits within no time. I would also say to listen to everything and all of the advice that is on offer to you, take each day as it comes and throw yourself into the experience!

Where do you see yourself going next following the completion of your programme?

Once finished I want to stay and get more experience at Dolphin and I am really keen to develop onto the Degree.