It’s National Apprenticeship Week this week and what better way to get involved than to speak to one of our very own apprentices Juliette.
We asked her a few questions about her time at BJF and what the future may hold:
I found out about BJF’s apprenticeship programme through a friend who already works here. She really likes working at BJF and recommended that I apply.
Whilst I enjoyed school, I realised that I am someone who learns best by doing rather than through books and lessons.
I was ready to take on more responsibilities and be part of a team and I also felt that an apprenticeship would give me the opportunity to apply what I had learned in school in a real-life setting.
I see an apprenticeship as a way to stand out among my peers by gaining invaluable work experience whilst still getting my qualifications.
An apprenticeship allows you to gain independence and, in my opinion, can get you closer to where you want to be in life.
After sending in my CV I was invited for an interview with the Buyer who would be my manager and the Head of Finance. I then undertook a two day trial which allowed me to get a feel for the business and what I would be doing during my apprenticeship. During the two days I was given a real flavour for what my job would involve. I was given admin tasks supporting the purchasing department, helped out on reception and shadowed the buying team.
Having experienced a taste of life at BJF I knew that this was somewhere I could thrive. Fortunately, I must have made a good impression because they offered me the apprenticeship at the end of my second day.
As part of my apprenticeship I am studying for an NVQ level three in Business Administration which is the equivalent of two A-levels. This is a general business course which involves monthly coursework and research and everything is relevant to what I do day-to-day at BJF.
The course covers a range of applicable modules ranging from how to communicate professionally to working on reception. I believe that these transferrable skills will make me a more rounded professional and will contribute significantly to my working life and CV.
The best thing about BJF Group is the people, they’re a really fun and friendly bunch. I like the fact that I get treated like one of the team and have been since day one.
The BJF office location is another huge benefit. As well as being conveniently located just off of a major motorway we are based in beautiful surroundings which makes me enjoy coming to work.
I also really like the range of duties that I have. During my time at BJF I have picked up skills including time management, punctuality, how to write and communicate professionally and self-motivation. Not only can these skills help me during my current job role but also in my future career.
Overall, although it sounds a bit cliché, I enjoy the whole idea of being in an office, for example dressing smartly and having my own desk and stationary. Knowing I am a part of a bigger organisation drives me to do well and has improved my work ethic.
I am hoping to continue my career in business administration and would like to carry on working within the purchasing department. I also plan to continue my professional development by taking more job specific courses to allow me to develop new skills.
Take the risk and do it! I’ve learnt so much in a relatively short space of time and I now have a range of transferrable skills that are directly applicable to my chosen career path.
If you are considering an apprenticeship, I would advise you to think about how you learn best. In my opinion an apprenticeship is best suited to someone who is a practical learner. You should also understand how to be professional in terms of writing and speaking. At the very least you will be interacting with people within the business but you may even be communicating with customers and suppliers like I do.
An apprenticeship is a great opportunity that allows you to experience the world of work whilst gaining qualifications at the same time and I highly encourage students to think about it as an option.