Dan is a Business Manager after completing the Lloyds Banking Group Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management.
Here’s what he’s learned along the way
If an opportunity arises: grab it
I heard about the apprenticeship scheme purely by chance. I was working part-time at a tech store during my AS levels and I impressed a customer so much that he told me about the new talent scheme at Lloyds Banking Group. I applied and got an interview.
The apprenticeship proposal offered the opportunity to learn as I earned. Even though I did well at school and college, I knew university wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to commit three years to a subject I was uncertain about.
There are loads of options within apprenticeships
I chose the project management scheme because I thought it suited my skills best. I like managing uncertainty and I don’t like doing things that are repetitive.
As a project manager you are responsible for jobs where big changes are involved. It means your work can be really different every day. It is a lot of responsibility to get things right – but we have a strong team, so we have a really good time doing it.
You learn and qualify at the same time
The Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management led to a Level 4 qualification. It was a two-year course, with two exams and several coursework modules. We were trained to be junior project managers and did everything from leading small projects to helping two different parts of the bank merge.
It’s all about transferable skills
I think project management gives you fundamental skills that can be applied to lots of different job roles. Transferable skills are really useful. In fact, what I’m doing now is completely different from my project manager role as an apprentice.
I started working in Commercial Banking Insight, which is a team that looks at the needs of clients and how we can adapt our products and services to suit them. I helped manage our research, which involved online surveys, client focus groups and customer testing. For example, if we had a new web page design or online demo, we’d get clients to come in and try it out. We’d be able to see how they used it and get immediate feedback.
At the end of my apprenticeship I was offered an opportunity to be an Associate Director in Commercial Banking – for companies with a turnover of more than £1m – and I leapt at it.
And very recently I was promoted to Business Manager.
The project management apprenticeship gives you fundamental skills that can be applied to lots of different job roles.
Part-time jobs are important
I had several part-time jobs at school and believe the all helped me get to where I am today.
I used to do a lot of fundraising and volunteering for local charities, including a kennel where I learned how to create website and media content. My time at a pizza restaurant really helped my confidence when speaking to people and finding solutions to their needs. Then there was my job at the tech store where good customer service lead me Lloyds.
There’s a path for you – even if you don’t know it yet
If you know you want to become a doctor, lawyer or any job that requires a specific degree, go to university. If you don’t know, remember that apprenticeships can give you qualifications, contacts and a nice salary, depending on what you do.
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