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University isn't for me

Each year more school leavers are choosing to do an apprenticeship over going to university. There are lots of reasons why this might be; to earn money, to get out of the classroom, to gain experience early. We can make plenty of guesses, but we wanted to speak with someone who has experienced both avenues. Hannah Craven told us all about her experience as a university student and an apprentice.

Tell me a little more about your previous education. 
I went to secondary school in Hull. I have always done subjects relating to health care. I did my Psychology, Sociology, Biology and Statistics A levels in Hull. I originally thought I wanted to be a Mental Health Nurse, so I went to The University of York and did that for two years. I didn’t enjoy the course but stuck with it as I didn’t know what else I could do. I have always had an interest in property and did hope one day to get into it in the future. However, I realised at the end of my second year that University and Nursing just weren't for me. I researched into other options which is when I found the apprenticeship I am doing now.

What did you decide to do an apprenticeship and how did you find out about Profound Services / the company you work for?  
I didn’t set out looking for apprenticeships. When I first started looking for jobs, I saw an apprenticeship at Linley and Simpson being advertised. I read more into it and really liked the sound of it… as I had never worked in the property industry before I thought this might be a good place to start. I then when I started the job started my NVQ with Profound Services.

What appealed to you the most about the course e.g. a specific module or practical element?
I liked the fact that you get to learn while in a working environment. I have always learnt more by actually doing, as opposed to sitting in a classroom and learning about things that way.

What does your typical week look like? For example, how long do you spend working and how long do you study for?
I work Monday- Friday 9-5.30 and every other Saturday 9.30-3. During these days I usually get an hour or so for some study time within my working day, so long as we are not busy. I also go on regular training days at one of our other branches.  We also have apprenticeship days every other month, where I meet with the other apprenticeships in the other branches for a study day and to talk about how we are getting on.

What support does Profound Services offer to help your training? Tell me a little more about your Training Assessor (TA)
Adrian is my training assessor. He has been really helpful during my NVQ. I like the fact he used to work in the industry himself, so he has a lot of knowledge there. We will set goals as to what I have to get done for next time I see him, but he is always there for me to contact if I get stuck on anything. Whenever I give a piece of work in, he always tells me what was good about it and what I could improve on for next time. I feel like my assessor has definitely played a part in increasing my confidence while being in the job.

What’s the most challenging element of your apprenticeship? What have you found the most enjoyable? What has been the most rewarding part of your career to date?
I have started my apprenticeship at what is an estate agents busiest time of year. So that has been a bit of a challenge as I think I have had to learn the role quite quickly. As I have never worked in the environment, this worried me at first, but I am pleased with my progress. It’s hard to pinpoint the most rewarding part of my career so far….I have really enjoyed it all and often feel rewarded when helping people find their new home and help make their moving process much easier.

What piece of advice would you give to a young person looking for their first job? Would you recommend an apprenticeship?
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. I have had so much support since I have started, and learnt so much in even a short space of time. It's nice to learn while you are also doing the job as I think it makes you improve a lot quicker.

Do you think it’s important for non-university routes like apprenticeships and school leaver programmes to be promoted to school leavers? Why?
Definitely. I think a lot of people forget about the option of an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are great if you don’t do well at learning in a classroom based environment. It is also a much cheaper option than university as you get paid whilst you learn. I think there is great career progression opportunities also. You get extra support, get sent on lots of training days and also gain the experience in the job before you’ve qualified.

What do you hope to get out of completing an apprenticeship? What is your ultimate career goal?
I hope to finish my level 2, then start with my level 3. I would like to work my way up in the company and maybe experience different areas within the Linley and Simpson, like sales or property management.

If you're looking to become an apprentice check out our latest vacancies here.

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