What a year! Since completing my apprenticeship in June 2015, I have received four awards; two CIM certificates, presented on the radio, addressed over 300 apprentices at a graduation ceremony and even met the Prime minister at No.10! – how did I get so lucky?

Humble Beginnings

It all started in May 2015, myself and Mike were presenting at the local FSB Apprenticeship Event, a member of the audience suggested that I enter the National Apprentice Awards 2015 in the intermediate apprentice of the year category, with only a week until the entry closing date, we submitted my entry and hoped for the best.

Soon August arrived along with an email stating that I had been shortlisted as a Regional finalist and an invitation to the South East Region Apprentice of the Year awards. On the 21st October myself, Dave and my partner travelled to HMS President in London, where I was awarded with the South East Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award! It took me completely by surprise, and I felt incredibly proud. The recognition from this award was amazing, I was invited to present my experience on local radio stations and an Apprenticemakers webinar as well as short news stories being written about Napier and our apprentice journey in local papers!

Shortlisted for the National Finals!

In December 2015, I received an email notifying me that a decision had been made by the national judging panel, and I had been shortlisted as a National finalist – it was now down to myself and two others out of over 12,000 original submissions. Myself and three guests (Mike, my mum and my partner) were invited to the National Finals in January at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.

Invite to Number 10

On 4th January, something crazy happened – I received a formal invite requesting my company at a drinks reception to celebrate Apprenticeships at Number 10, Downing Street! I could not believe it, of course I accepted the invite and enjoyed an unbelievable evening behind the famous black door.

Achieving Highly Commended

The National awards soon arrived in late January, and after an evening of fantastic entertainment, delicious food, and great company, I received an award and was highly commended. In recognition of my hard work and dedication to my apprenticeship I also received a Chichester College Star of the Year award, and FE Sussex Apprentice of the Year award. I also launched The Apprentice Ambassador Network, and have presented my experience to several schools in the area.

I am incredibly proud to have received such fantastic recognition of my achievements and that I have had so many opportunities to share my apprentice experience, and encourage others to join an apprenticeship programme – to think it all started with complex tea rounds and 32-bit microcontrollers two years ago!

I am now 2/3 of my way through a CIM diploma, managing accounts at Napier as well as supporting the team in a variety of ways from traditional PR through to Digital campaigns. I have attended international trade shows, written and placed articles and achieved so much more than I ever expected I could.

Most importantly, I am still learning every single day.