Friday, 10 March 2017

Fifi's Apprenticeship Story

Fifi Bula 

We interviewed Fifi Bula who is an apprentice in the Education and Skills department. Read Fifi's inspirational story below.

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I previously volunteered at City View Children Centre for almost a year and at Brighton Job Centre for a few months, at the end of my volunteering period at the Job Centre my advisor suggested I searched for apprenticeship roles in administration. I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical about the idea but decide to give it a try. I went on the council website and came across a Level 2 in Business administration. I applied for my role with very little knowledge and a lot of misconceptions on apprenticeships. But after reading the job’s description for the role, I believed it to be suitable for me.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?
Fifi with the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at 
the House of Commons for National Apprenticeship Week 2017
During my period of unemployment I remembered how I would constantly remind myself that I need to find a fulfilling job, not a ‘dead-end job ‘ or something simply to make ends meet. As a mother, providing for my children is crucial but I remember the following quote by Steve Jobs “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. I felt very comfortable in my new role as an apprentice as some of the tasks were quite similar to those in my previous volunteering roles. I am extremely lucky to be working with some amazing people. In my role I support my manager providing services to schools and liaise between Schools and the Service providers. I work in a dynamic and often very demanding environment but the support from my mangers, colleagues and my assessor from City College has been extraordinary, I have now completed my Level 2 Business administration and I am progressing onto Level 3. Onwards and upwards!

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship has helped me develop skills such as oral and written communications skills; I have learnt to balance and manage workload and mainly to prioritise. I do love being a mother but I believe to be so much more and through my apprenticeship  I’ve found a new  sense of purpose , providing services to schools all through the city makes me feel  valuable and reinforce a sense of belonging. It’s a privilege to be able to work while learning; gaining a qualification while earning a living. It’s a win - win situation and the feeling and satisfaction it brings is indescribable.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend ‘Apprenticeships’ and certainly advocate to others. Through my work I have met others apprentices who have accomplished amazing things and many who are on their way to achieving their goal and realising their dreams.  I have not decided what my next step will be but I am enjoying the journey so far. Working full time and being a single parent can be challenging but with the right support system, I now realised that when I started my apprenticeship I was far from understanding what I was getting myself into… I underestimated where my apprenticeship could take me.  I realised that I can exceed my own expectations, sky’s the limit!

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