Alex tells us about his Software Engineering apprenticeship. What made you consider an apprenticeship? I find that I learn best whilst doing rather than from a textbook so I wanted something that would give me the opportunity to learn on the job. An apprenticeship offered me the best of both worlds – practical training in the workplace at the same time as learning for a recognised qualification. The fact that I could also earn whilst I was learning was a big positive, it has given me the independence to move out of home and into my own place. alex1 What was it like joining a company as the 4th employee? It was definitely a steep learning curve, a bit like being thrown in at the deep end! But for me that was something I relished. It meant that the work I was doing made a big impact on the company and I got the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of areas. It has made me a lot more confident and now I mentor other apprentices in the company and other employees often look to me because of my experience in the business. It was scary at first but being with a smaller company has allowed me to progress much quicker. alex2 How has your apprenticeship helped you? The apprenticeship has given me a real focus, at work I am responsible for mission critical projects that our customers depend on us for. At the same time it has given me a structured programme for learning new skills. This obviously involves technical knowledge around software engineering but just as importantly soft skills like time management and leadership. Over the last 12 months I have matured and grown in confidence thanks to the apprenticeship which means I am now responsible for all of our client project delivery! alex3 What achievement are you most proud of during your apprenticeship? We work with some of the world’s biggest brands so it is always a proud moment when you see something you have worked hard on for say Rio Ferdinand, Honda, Amazon etc. out there live and being used by millions of people every month. When I look at the statistics of how many people read the magazines I have helped produce I always stop and take a moment to think about how far i’ve come in the last 12 months. What advice would you give other people thinking about applying for an apprenticeship? It’s not an easy option but if you want to work hard and build a career from the ground up then an apprenticeship is a great option. I now have a clear career path and already earn much more than all my friends! Article from our interactive piece: View Our Story; How apprentices have helped grow our business digifibadgesmallborder