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My first Apprenticeship - experience and thoughts!


Active Member
My first apprenticeship was more of a learning curve than anything else! When everyone used to tell me "You've rushed this decision" I dismissed them.

I applied for a support role for a network provider, during the interview process, I showed interest in the company and the company showed interest in me. Without sounding big-headed, after the first interview I was really confident. I regularly emailed and kept up to date with the manager of the company, which impressed him more. We met again a week or so after my first interview and we spoke about the job. He created a new Sales role for me, as he was impressed with the way I, to put it straight, bugged and nagged him. Obviously as a sales person it's your job to make sure you know what's going on with your potential customers.

When I accepted the role, I knew I wouldn't actually be starting the apprenticeship for quite a while, and that I'd be settling in for a few months before I start the apprenticeship programme. I was happy with that, it sounded really good, and I was already as nervous as possible, so I was overjoyed when they offered me a settling in period.

I didn't actually know before hand, but I was starting on the same day as another apprentice (the one who they chose to employ for the role I originally applied for). This definitely took some pressure off me, it also meant all eyes weren't on me!

I sat down with my boss to basically create a sales pitch, it went straight over my head, I knew nothing about the services, there was about 40 words (no joke!) that I didn't understand and to sum it up, it wasn't something I enjoyed learning! But anyway, I carried on learning it.

My boss would always sit me down in he meeting room and I'd pitch to him, the thing is, I was pitching the words, I wasn't pitching the actual services (if that makes sense!). I didn't understand the services at all, so how could I sell something? The truth is, I couldn't.

I started work at 9 o'clock, and finished at 5:30, the company was based about 30 miles away from where I lived, and I could either get a train (and then a bus) or a bus there. I was spending half my wages on a train ticket and bus from the train station to the company. I was only taking this route of transport over a bus straight to work, as overall it meant I could leave the house at about 7:30, good times! Eventually I had to get a bus from where I lived to where the company was, as it was cheaper, but it was a catch 22 situation, as I had to leave the house at 7 and I was on the bus for nearly 4 hours a day there and back (ridiculous I know). This added an unbelievable amount of stress to me!

When I got home in the evenings, it was either too late, or I was too tired to do anything, it was simply taking my life away, and although I'm really focused on my career, I felt like I was putting my career before my actual life, when it wasn't worth it. I wasn't seeing family, I wasn't seeing friends, and they were the people I needed most at this time.

I kept learning the pitch, but it just wouldn't work...

2 months in to the job and it was Christmas break, I got about 2 weeks break, it basically gave me the chance to speak to friends and family about the situation I was in. Basically at this point I was a mess. I was constantly stressing out over work, I had barely any money, and I was even really distant from a few friends and family due to never seeing them. I summed up the pros and cons and decided to leave the company, although the staff and company itself were absolutely amazing and supportive, the job role itself wasn't for me.

I don't regret taking the job, I met some amazing people and had a really supportive boss. It was one of those companies where you wish it was more local, and you had a different role, as I honestly loved the atmosphere!

I then got a part-time job at McDonalds to keep me going whilst I search for another apprenticeship and decide on my future.