We caught up with Daisy, one of WhiteHat’s Business Associate apprentices working at Newable.. We wanted to find out more about Daisy’s experience; read on to find out how her apprenticeship has changed her life.

1. Tell us about yourself

My name is Daisy Parker and I am 20 years old and from Kingston-Upon-Thames. I am currently completing a Level 3 Business and Administration apprenticeship at Newable, a company that provides small to medium size businesses with advice, properties, investment and loans. I have been there for just over a year, and am lucky enough to have been employed in a full time position as a Project Coordinator.

Growing up on the south coast of Spain, I had a pretty chilled start to life. I took up horse riding from the age of six and spent many days swimming in the sea, before moving back to England in time for Secondary School.

Throughout GCSEs, I took a liking to subjects where I was able to justify an answer rather than simply being either right or wrong. This led to me taking A-Levels in English Literature, Spanish and Sociology, which I passed with AAB.

2. What prompted you to seek out an apprenticeship?

Before WhiteHat, I had never considered apprenticeships. We had next to no career guidance in school. Everyone was funnelled towards university, with help on how to write personal statements and how to apply to UCAS, but nothing about apprenticeships.

This led to me heading off to the University of Portsmouth to study Law and Criminology. At the end of my first year, and having changed courses mid-way through, I decided University wasn’t for me.

I worked at an Equestrian Centre before starting to look for jobs in the city. I went to a few admin job interviews but found it extremely hard to get my foot in the door with no experience.  Whilst looking on Indeed one day, I came across one of WhiteHat’s apprenticeships and I knew it would be a positive step in the right direction, and one that would enable me to learn on the job.

3. Where were you when you had that lightning-strike moment that made you realise you didn’t have to follow the traditional path?

I was talking to my parents about it, sitting in my dad’s office while looking through the WhiteHat website. Having previously associated apprenticeships with manual labour, it was the first time I had seen apprenticeships for Business Admin and Finance and the first time I realised that there was an alternative route that I could go down. . My family were incredibly supportive and encouraged me to explore apprenticeships as they knew it would be a good opportunity for me  to get an office job without having any experience.

4. Walk us through your experience with WhiteHat

While WhiteHat offer a wide range of Apprenticeships, I wasn’t entirely sure which career path I wanted to go down.  WhiteHat’s talent team encouraged me to look into a Business Admin Apprenticeship as the qualification offers a more diverse workload, and covers a variety of roles and companies to work for. They really value each individual apprentice (the majority of the team know my name and what I do which amazes me) and they are incredibly supportive with your journey. WhiteHat  also have an incredible community, something that is often a big pull factor towards university, and it’s been a great opportunity to meet other individuals also on an apprenticeship.

5. How has your apprenticeship changed your life?

I would not be where I am today without my apprenticeship. Because of my apprenticeship I’ve been offered a  full-time position in a role I love. It has introduced me to so many new contacts and friends, and taught me how to be a more mature and professional  person. I have also learnt so many new skills. My apprenticeship has opened doors for me, leading me to a job I love and enjoy.

I’ve had opportunities to present and attend events (even one that the mayor of London was at), I’ve joined our social committee and helped organise summer and Christmas staff parties, and I’ve learnt how to successfully pass an audit – all experience that I can carry through my career.

6. What do most people get wrong about apprenticeships?

I didn’t expect to be given so many responsibilities as an apprentice, or to be so involved in the workplace. I expected to be given  basic filing and tea making jobs but it has exceeded all my expectations. My day-to-day usually includes a mix of attending meetings and reporting to the project management team and advisers I work with. I’m also tasked with helping the team prepare for audits and interacting with our project funders, which is a huge responsibility and one that can be quite challenging. These are my core jobs, however they can vary depending on the time of year.

I really enjoy my job! I love the routine that comes with an office environment, and I’m always learning new versatile traits and gaining experience.

7. Where do you want to see the UK get to with apprenticeships?

One day, I look forward to Apprenticeships not carrying the stigma they used to have; it would be amazing to see them as an equal alternative to university. WhiteHat has started making a change by sending Hacktivists to multiple schools to promote apprenticeships. It would be awesome to see them promoted throughout schools in the same way that they help you apply to UCAS.

Disclaimer: whilst WhiteHat’s marketing team worked with Daisy to upload and publish this blog, the views and opinions expressed are entirely her own! If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch: info@whitehat.org.uk