In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with Rochelle Orr, general manager of Millennium Point and Parkside at Birmingham City University, to talk about why she chose to do an apprenticeship and how it’s helped her climb the career ladder.
What made you choose to do an apprenticeship?
When I was offered the opportunity to do a Level 5 Operational Management apprenticeship last year with HIT Training – it was a no brainer! I wanted to invest in my development in order to help me prepare for the next step in my career. An apprenticeship helps you to do this, whilst allowing me to continue working and be able to put the theoretical knowledge into practice in my day to day role.
What opportunities has the apprenticeship given you so far?
The apprenticeship has been huge in helping to build my confidence as a manager, as well as build a wider network both within BaxterStorey, as well as with other like-minded hospitality professionals.
As a result of the apprenticeship, I have now signed up to do a career-inspired webinar with Springboard and am working on some exciting new projects! The apprenticeship also comes with membership to the Institute of Hospitality, which is another great networking resource and also provides resources to support with your studies.
What’s been the biggest benefit?
For me, my self-awareness has improved so much, which has helped me in my role as a manager – particularly during these challenging times. It has really reinvigorated my excitement for my job and confidence in my career progression.
How do you balance the apprenticeship with your day to day responsibilities?
The beauty of an apprenticeship is exactly what drew me to want to undertake one. Whilst it may seem daunting to some to consider the prospect of juggling work with study, the skills you learn along the way support you in recognising how it is possible to do both, and with great success.
How will the apprenticeship help your career development?
The apprenticeship has given me a greater sense of self-belief in what I am doing, as well as helped me become more disciplined in relation to my own personal development plan. I now have clear goals and objectives as to what I want to achieve and can already look back on my development in this first year and can see how far I have come, which is a great feeling!
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, what would it be?
Do it! The great thing about an apprenticeship is you aren’t doing it alone, you have a trainer who supports you throughout, and, within BaxterStorey a huge network of people who can advise and support along the way. Don’t hold back, take the leap and get started.
… And, if you’re still unsure, reach out to people like myself who are currently on one and listen to how positively its impacted them, then you will definitely see the value in them!
*Disclaimer: This photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.