We know that there are so many different office-based apprenticeships out there for sixth-formers, college students, school leavers and non-graduates to choose from. So we can understand that it’s not always easy to find the right apprenticeship qualification or sector.Our business admin apprentice Nesserine Fellah knows how tiring the process can be… she kindly sat down with me to share her story of finding the right opportunity at Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP).

Tell me how your YNAP interview was different to the other three (or four) interviews that you went to.
I interviewed at The Hoxton, I went to Foxtons and then Sprat, and then I went to YNAP! Finally!

The Hoxton I went to the day after my Assessment Centre, which was a very quick [turnaround] — and I really enjoyed how quick the process was, because you don’t know if the training provider is going to stick with [their commitment]. I didn’t have a positive outlook on my training providers.

Once I got the interview with The Hoxton hotel, I received calls from WhiteHat (WH) reassuring me that if I had any questions at any time, ask away and we can go through them together — very hands on, it really calmed me down before my interview. It was a very nerve-wracking experience, but after The Hoxton, I became very confident in applying [for more] and being asked questions to make sure that I would get the answers spot on.

Anna (WH talent manager) would also tell me beforehand what to expect from them, what kind of interview it would be, who would be there, so that I could do my research, look at their LinkedIn profiles… very reassuring. I could always call the WH talent team for help and they would always answer any questions I had, no matter how ridiculous they were!

Anytime WH posted any new vacancies I would screenshot them and go online and read the description. Seeing the social media post and seeing the picture with the company’s logo helped envision myself being there, as an employee.

How did WhiteHat help to fill the gaps in your parents’ knowledge of apprenticeships?
There was an article on WhiteHat’s Medium for parents on how they can help their children prepare for interviews, with some interview practice. I sent that to my mum and said to her, “Do this for me please!” That
was one of the things that helped out and confirmed how she can help me, because this was a very individual process.

You’re doing your own thing, but they are asking, “How can I help?”…. The blog post and content was very useful, it gave general questions that parents could use, so they didn’t have to think of them themselves.

Thinking back to the Assessment Centre, how did WhiteHat answer your questions about apprenticeships and help you begin your journey?
There’s such a personal connection at WhiteHat. Before finding WH I didn’t really understand what an apprenticeship was exactly, but I knew that I didn’t want to go to university, so I thought an apprenticeship would be the ideal situation for me to get into my dream role.

Most induction and assessment centres I’ve been to, they didn’t really say what they can do to help you, it was always let’s try and do a group interview, and if you don’t get [the job] then sorry, that’s that. It wasn’t like, “we can help you find more roles after [this interview].” Whereas WH was very hands-on and once you see a role, you go through an interview process, a ‘let’s start together and work our way towards the end goal’ system.

One thing that I really enjoyed about WH was also having one person who helped [me] find the right role for me. I had Anna, who would send me emails and reminders to look on the WH [opportunities] webpage in the monthly email blasts.

You’re now one month into your apprenticeship… Tell us how it’s going?!
YNAP offers a fire marshal and first aid course. I would like to lead my own induction course delivering the whole content and registration, to improve my confidence when speaking in public. I think it’s great that they have opportunities available for me, [these courses] are going to be good for me in the future. Because YNAP is a big company I can ask different people in different departments (like HR, recruitment, merchandising) if I can shadow them for an hour. You get a much better sense of the company. I’ve already shadowed somebody from Customer Care, which was very cool.

My November is looking busy, now that I’ve got access to more data, I am able to [do more] like update our tracker, send invites to employer, send documents to new employees. I’ve had the tutorials, now I am putting them into practice and remembering them!