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!