My thoughts on Apprenticeship
We thought it’d be a good opportunity to catch up with Bryn Jones, who has just completed our one-year apprenticeship at Comms Management in Conwy, North Wales. The company was so impressed with his progress throughout the apprenticeship they’ve offered him a permanent role on a full time salary.
To give you more of an insight about becoming an apprentice we asked Bryn a few questions about his apprenticeship and how he feels it went.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself
I work for Comms Management as a Support Technician at their office in North Wales, and I am currently training to develop my role into an IT Engineer. I am taking a Cisco night course at my local college in North Wales, which is helping to expand my knowledge of the IT sector further. In my spare time, I enjoy TV shows and movies, spending time with my family and friends, gaming and I am also learning how to drive.
What was it that attracted you to take an apprenticeship rather than a degree?
For me, many different things attracted me to choose an apprenticeship over a degree.
What attracted me to an apprenticeship was that I felt I could end up getting more out of it than a degree. For instance, at the end of an apprenticeship, there is a chance that you will go onto a full-time job with the company/business you have done your apprenticeship with, or if not then, you may have been able to develop industry contacts for you to speak to about getting a job.
Also, at the end of an apprenticeship, you can show employers that you are able to survive and work well in that industry. Above all, I think what finally swung it for me was that I feel I learn much better by actually doing whatever it is you are learning
What is the qualification side of the work like, what do you have to do at college?
The qualification side of the apprenticeship was similar to any other coursework you would do at school, college or university. The work is mostly based around reporting what you have done whilst at work, detailing some challenges you may have faced and how you can overcome them better in the future. This can help reinforce things you have learnt previously in work, or help you find your own solutions to problems.
How were you supported throughout your apprenticeship by both the team at Comms Management and at college?
The support I received during my apprenticeship was amazing and really helped me to get to where I am now. All members of staff were welcoming and went out of their way to help me not only learn the ropes of the industry, but also to help me set aside time for me to do my college work. Everyone was really patient with me and offered plenty of invaluable advice on how I could improve my knowledge in certain aspects of the industry.
In terms of the support I was given from college, this came in the form of my tutor helping me to manage my college work load and also providing advice on how I can structure my reports and essays and what sort of things I would need to make sure I passed my apprenticeship.
What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship with Comms Management?
I have met lots of new and really nice people and I’ve experienced what working in this industry is like.
One thing that I really struggled with in school and college was knowing what I wanted to do. I knew that I really enjoyed IT and technology and the apprenticeship allowed me to get an idea of what the Telecoms and IT sector was like. It also made me realise how much I love working in this sector and how at home I feel – I now couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
What’s a typical day like for an IT and Telecoms apprentice at Comms Management?
A typical day for me starts with me coming in and getting my PC set-up, and then I look through my list of tasks and make a list of what needs doing in order of how high of a priority they are. For instance faults will pretty much always take priority, but it’s all dependant on the severity of said fault and the importance of other tasks.
I then work through my now prioritised list of tasks. Customers will call in with various requests, questions and faults throughout the day, and as I head up the first line support, I will usually take the first call unless I am in the middle of something else and can’t take the call.
Also, I have recently been configuring a lot of hosted phone systems for customers, configuring routers and other equipment and testing and implementing new software for Comms Management.
What advice would you give to people looking to get into an IT and Telecoms apprenticeship?
If you enjoy working and are passionate about IT and Telecoms, then give an apprenticeship a go, because it will show you what the industry is like to work in. If you feel it is for you, then you can try staying on with the company that you have done your apprenticeship with.
If they are unable to take you on full-time, then that’s not a problem as you have the skills to go out and look for either the exact same type of job with a different company, or you can look at different types of IT and Telecoms job based around the aspects you enjoyed the most from your apprenticeship.