Earlier this month our Business Relations Coordinator, Chloe, started her Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Chloe joined us in July 2018 after finishing her A-Levels at Congleton High School and began a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Professional Business and Administration. Since then Chloe has gone on to achieve many things including ‘Cheshire East Apprentice of the Year’ in early 2019 as well as being given the responsibility in July last year to run our biggest annual charity event, the Summer Swing, where we hit the £1m raised for the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation.
After finishing her Level 4 Apprenticeship earlier this year, a Degree Apprenticeship felt like a natural progression for Chloe and it means she will be able to continue her work here at FFM whilst studying for her degree, gaining new knowledge and enhancing her skills.
After her first week as a Degree Apprentice, we caught up with Chloe to see how she has been getting on…
How have you found your first week?
“There has been a lot of information to take in and process but I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week getting to know my fellow Apprentices, all the Course Leaders and just learning the ins and outs of being a Degree Apprentice. MMU have been great and my induction week was well thought through and well organised. It looks like that it’s going to be a great 2.5 years, albeit a lot of hard work, but I am certainly up for the challenge!”
Has there been a big step up from a Foundation Degree Apprenticeship?
“There is certainly a noticeable jump from Level 4 to Level 5 work but that is understandable. At first I was a little apprehensive about it but I know that I have a great support network from the team at MMU and all at FFM so I know I will be just fine.”
You are on a 2.5-year Fast Track Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) – can you explain what that means for those who don’t know?
“The CMDA 2.5-year fast track course means that I go straight to doing Level 5 work rather than spending a year doing Level. Through my apprenticeship, I will achieve my BA (Hons) Business Management Professional Degree and hopefully achieve my Chartered Management Status from the Chartered Management Institute as well. The way the programme is delivered is through a mixture of online webinars and face to face learning and through this fast track course, I will only attend university in person 12 days a year in 4-day intensive blocks. The amount of work is the same amount as any normal degree which means that the course requires a lot of discipline as a lot of study is self-directed and it is vital that my time is managed well to be able to balance my day to day work, my studies and my social life.”
Did you always want to do an Apprenticeship?
“Personally, yes. After much deliberation at school of what I wanted to do Post-18, I decided the normal university route wasn’t for me and I felt that an Apprenticeship was a much better idea. The thing that appealed most to me was the opportunity to gain a qualification whilst getting invaluable experience of working in an established business and also earning a living too. I know that through doing my Level 4 Business and Administration Apprenticeship and now going on to complete my Degree Apprenticeship, I will be able to say that I have the relevant knowledge of business, I have applied it through my own real life work at FFM and it has been tried and tested by the CMi.”
What would you say to a business that is looking at taking on an Apprentice?
“There are many benefits to businesses for employing an Apprentice. They bring fresh new ideas and skills to the table; they bring diversity in terms of talent and they can be trained to meet the needs and context of your business. I am so grateful to FFM for giving me the opportunity two years ago to join the team fresh out of Sixth Form and it’s so encouraging to hear that they value bringing young people into the business and want to inspire the next generation.”
What would be your 3 key pieces of advice to any young person wanting to follow in similar footsteps to yourself?
“1. Take every opportunity – you truly never know where an opportunity may take you and that is why I think it is so important to take every opportunity that you can. Whether it is helping at a school open day or putting yourself forward to be on your school leadership team, it is all valuable experience that will make you stand out in the future. That leads on to number 2. Be proactive – the competition for jobs and apprenticeships is so high, especially now, and it is so important to make yourself stand out from the crowd. You will never get anywhere by sitting around waiting for things to happen, it’s your job to get the wheels in motion for your own future so I would say contact businesses for work experience, do your research on different industries, connect with different professionals, volunteer at local charities, be a part of leadership teams at school, anything you can do to make yourself different and make yourself a better all round person will get you further than just having straight A GCSE/A Level results. 3. Do what makes you happy – life is far too short to be unhappy. I am very lucky to have found an area of work that I genuinely enjoy and they say if you love what you do then you will never work a day in your life – I can vouch for that!”
We are delighted to be supporting Chloe on the next stage of her journey and wish her every success.