My name is Raquayya Anderson and ever since secondary school, I have been immensely interested in ICT. My favourite part of the school day was my ICT lessons, I looked forward to learning and creating projects that were different to every other lesson. From then I studied it at college and went into jobs relating to ICT. My job role is an IT Technician apprentice. It is based on a school so my role involves many different jobs and tasks from printing exam papers to rebuilding PCs.
Before this apprenticeship, I was in another apprenticeship doing digital marketing, and once my apprenticeship had finished they decided to keep me on. I did enjoy the digital marketing side of IT, however, I wanted to get into the more technical side of IT hence why I wanted an IT technician job. Before my first apprenticeship, I was studying interactive media at Bromley College and working in the retail store House of Fraser on the weekends. I really enjoyed my college course as it had three aspects to it: Photography, Game design & implications of Interactive media i.e. looking into the laws and rules of I-Media. Before then, I was in school studying the normal curriculum subjects and chose music, drama and ICT as my extra subjects.
I have always been a strong believer in apprenticeships, for a short while I went to university after college to study interactive media, I personally felt that I was not educated about apprenticeships when I was about to leave college, which is why I personally think I rushed into university. I feel so happy now to see all of the TV advertisements and exposure apprenticeships are getting these days for the younger generation so that they know there are other options rather than going straight to university or going straight into the workplace. I love apprenticeships because I love the fact that you can earn and learn at the same time that to me is so productive.
From as long as I can remember I have always wanted to own my own business, I know that I have immense interests in ICT – probably the more creative side. I also have huge interests in beauty and cosmetics – the other end of the spectrum! Another aspiration of mine is to work within a company where everyone is treated fairly, there is room to grow and move upwards. I believe that my qualification will be very profitable along with my experience, so I have no doubt my apprenticeship will get me wherever I want to go, along with hard work, determination and ambition.
The number one thing for me is that I am able to learn whilst on the job. This also makes my coursework that slight bit easier as it is important to give examples of the work I do in my coursework, so I am able to give plenty of examples as I do genuinely learn a lot whilst on the job. I enjoy that I can be flexible with my coursed work, of course, I have deadlines but I definitely do not feel like there is too much on my plate. In addition to this, I am given a sufficient amount of time during work hours to actually complete my coursework. I am looking forward to receiving my qualification at the end of it and seeing where that will take me. I enjoy my actual job, as I mentioned before I was working on the more creative side within IT doing digital marketing and with this job, it is way more technical and I have broadened my knowledge on IT as a whole.
A lot of my friends actually do apprenticeships themselves in various different fields: One friend is doing an apprenticeship in accounting and another in business and administration. We all agree that apprenticeships for us are a lot better than studying a course at university. We all agree that learning and earning for us is the best way to gain our qualifications and on top of that, we are all confident in where our qualifications from our apprenticeships can take us. In addition to this, we also believe that nowadays a lot of employers are attracted to experience as well as qualifications so it is the best of both worlds when you can offer both on your CV. My family have been and are always very supportive of the decisions that I make, in my family my older siblings have gone to university so when I decided I did not want to continue my course anymore I am guessing it may have been a little of a shock to them (although if it was, they did not make it obvious) once I explained my reasons for not continuing they were very understanding and supportive and once I explained my future plans they were intrigued as when I did my first apprenticeship it was not a very popular option and I imagine back when they finished school and college it was not a very popular option either. They too thought it was great how I could earn and learn in a profitable company and have the potential opportunity to be kept on once the apprenticeship was over.
I have changed since being an apprentice in the sense that I am way more open-minded about life options in general. I don’t think there is anything I cannot do if I put my mind to it and I have a really positive outlook on my future work life. I think the people that provide apprenticeships are doing a lot for young people who may be in that grey area of what to do next, which can be such a daunting time for a young individual. I feel more confident to apply for serious jobs as I genuinely feel I have a good amount of experience in a working environment.
I would strongly urge all school leavers who aren’t sure about college and all college/sixth form leaders who aren’t sure about the university to seriously take time and look at your options. When I was in college nobody told me there was such thing as an apprenticeship so I just did what everyone else was doing and applied to university. Looking back at it, I did rush my decision and I did not take any time to look at what else was out there. Also, there are apprenticeships in literally any field of work you can imagine so really think about what field you want to go in or if you don’t know that, think about what you enjoy and just search for an apprenticeship in that field. My personal opinion on apprenticeships is that it’s a win-win situation as your earning whilst learning and you will gain a valuable qualification at the end of it.