By Jade Harris
Jade Harris, who joined Deloitte on a one-year apprenticeship four years ago, talks about her experiences and how her career has progressed since she first started as an apprentice.
In March 2017 when I was just 17 years old, I joined Deloitte on an entry level apprenticeship and started working in their delivery centre in Cardiff as an assistant. The apprenticeship lasted a year and included attending Cardiff & Vale College once a week to work towards a City & Guilds Level 3 qualification in business administration.
There are two things I enjoyed most about my year as an apprentice – firstly, the chance to earn and learn at the same time, and secondly, that I was treated exactly the same as anyone else in my team. Before I started, in my mind I had pictured apprentices to be junior people who were given basic admin tasks or relied on for coffee runs. I was happily surprised that this wasn’t the case – I soon learned I was no different from any other member of the team when I was given exactly the same type of work as everyone else sat around me. I was allocated projects and was even leading a reporting team aged 17. All whilst learning everything I could about how the business ran and working towards my qualification at the same time.
I remember clearly one particular high point of my apprenticeship when, within eight months of joining the business, I was managing a resource pool and their outputs. Being given that opportunity and responsibility was a key moment for me. It enabled me to develop people management skills and spearheaded my transition into thinking with a more business-focused mentality. I really feel that learning how to make business critical decisions along with being able to call on my experience, have got me to where I am today.
I completed the apprenticeship in March 2018, exactly 12 months after I’d first started. One month later, I successfully interviewed for a senior assistant position. Since then I’ve progressed further and became an assistant manager a year ago.
I now look after operations and management information for the delivery centre’s Engagement Support Services division and am part the Service Control team . My job is centred around reporting and I produce and deliver MI for senior stakeholders, leadership and the ESS team amongst other things. In fact, a lot of the work I was doing four years ago when I first started would have made it’s way to someone in the position that I’m in now, so I feel I’ve come full circle.
What I love best about my role are the constant challenges – what the business needs is constantly changing and it’s mine and the rest of the wider team’s job to be at the forefront of that. My aspirations for the future are to see the Service Control team and our work evolve further and keep building on the success I’ve had over the last four years.
An apprenticeship was the right choice for me and gave me the opportunity to kick-start my career. I’m pleased to share my experience and use my voice to inspire others and spread the word about apprenticeships: they really are a great pathway to career success.
Apprenticeship Week Wales celebrates apprenticeships and the value they bring to employers and learners across Wales.
#WPCYMRU #AWWALES #AskAnApprentice
Deloitte is a supporter of the campaign and, by sharing our stories, we would like to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. We’re one of a number of employers celebrating the apprenticeship community, highlighting the opportunities to earn a wage and gain new skills and qualifications, and showcasing the resilience of apprentices and their employers during the pandemic.
Explore Deloitte’s virtual Spring careers festival, a programme of virtual events that potential applicants can join, as well as parents, teachers and careers advisors. These range from discovery sessions, where people can chat online with our student recruitment team or current apprentices, skills workshops as well as ‘Meet Deloitte’ sessions.