Another graduate from the Abavus IT apprenticeship programme! Joe Morgan is now working in a full-time permanent position with us. We spoke with Joe to gain an insight into his time as an apprentice.
1. Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship as opposed to a university degree?
When deciding between an apprenticeship or university, the choice was clear. An apprenticeship would allow me to gain money, work experience and qualifications. I was 23 (a late starter for an apprenticeship) and had already been working full-time for a few years. I wanted to continue earning a stable income, which would have been very difficult to do while attending university. This apprenticeship also came with many globally recognised certifications as well. As such, I felt an apprenticeship would increase my employability and set me up well for a future career within the IT industry.
2. What was your interest in IT?
I spent a lot of time around computers when I was growing up, and always found them interesting. When deciding on a subject to study at college, I chose IT. I felt the IT industry had many opportunities and different avenues to explore. Studying IT would allow me to grow in an area that interested me, which was a perfect benefit. I enjoyed the course, so seeking full-time employment with an IT company was an easy decision to make.
3. Why did you join Abavus?
With the certifications offered by an Abavus apprenticeship, I applied without any hesitation. The job described was exactly what I was looking for as an entry into the IT industry. My first impression of Abavus was very positive. Everyone I spoke to on the day of my interview was friendly and made me feel welcome. I had the opportunity to join another company, but I had no doubts over my decision to join Abavus.
4. What was your role when you started Abavus? and how has it developed?
I joined Abavus as a Technical Support Executive. I remained in this role for my first year, albeit with ever-increasing responsibility. My role was to provide support to our clients and escalate any issues where necessary. After my first year, Abavus promoted me into the role of Customer Account Executive. I now have a much larger impact driving the company forward. I also spend more time speaking with clients, which is something I enjoy.
5.What did you find challenging about doing the course and working full time?
The hardest part of the course was balancing work and study. There were times at the beginning of the course where I prioritised my Abavus work. While this left me in a good position moving forward, I sometimes struggled to find sufficient time for exam revision. This left me having to do some catch-up studying over weekends. Likewise, the opposite occurred towards the end of my apprenticeship. While I was busy with my apprenticeship work, it was a challenge at times balancing my Abavus responsibilities as well.
6. What do you enjoy most about the role?
I enjoy the varied nature of the role and the opportunity to get insights into strategic business operations through working closely with the directors. I also enjoy working directly with our clients, catching up with them on regular calls. The company atmosphere is really good. We often get together for team building activities outside of work. I have already made some great friends within the company. As Abavus is a small/medium enterprise, I get to know everyone on a personal level, so I really feel part of the team.
7. How has your role changed since the pandemic?
I joined Abavus in the early days of the COVID pandemic. This meant doing a lot of remote working, and I went long periods without going into the office. This was a minor issue, as I spent most days on calls with colleagues learning about our technology and my role.
8. Is there anything about the apprenticeship scheme that you would change?
Because of COVID, I completed all training online. This was unavoidable, but I felt I would have benefited from attending training in person. I also felt that some of the online material provided for my exams could have been more comprehensive. As a result, I engaged in a lot of self-study, such as watching educational videos on YouTube.
9. What are your career goals as you reach the end of your apprenticeship?
I want to keep working with Abavus, having a greater impact on the company’s success. I am already moving in this direction with my new role, and I want to keep developing over the coming years.
10. What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of taking a similar route?
An apprenticeship is a great choice if you want to gain qualifications while working. Having prior work experience is vital when joining any company. Research a course that is right for you and select a company where you feel you will fit into the culture as well as the role. Remember you can always explore other avenues later. I am now working in a role I would never have considered before, and I am enjoying it. Effective time management is definitely one of the most important skills required. There will be a lot of balancing between your work and studying. Of course, your employer and the apprenticeship provider will help you with this.