Hello, I Am Rosa
An apprenticeship is the best way to learn on the job training and gain a qualification at the end of it. You’re being paid to learn. An apprenticeship teaches you not just the academics of the role, but how to be professional, how to answer an email, how to talk to a customer on the phone. It teaches you real workplace skills that a degree will not always teach. If I was to go back in time I would do the same journey, as it has made me who I am today and I have learnt from my real-life experiences.
Tell us more about your experience
I am based in the HR team at BMW we look after various entities within BMW Group UK. The bit of the HR team I am currently part of is the Planning and Steering team, this is the team that helps to steer the departments in the right direction with strategic implementation, to meet the overall vision statements and values of BMW Group UK. I have also been privileged to work with the Talent & Development part of the team on a project of theirs and will be linking with the Business Partnering team to help round my knowledge of the whole team. My day to day can vary depending on the priorities of the week. Now the team has been focused on a merger, so we have been supporting the creation of job cards on the system, creating the new structures in place and pulling any reports that are needed. I mostly complete complex reports for other departments within the organisation and the HR team, update any policies that need to be in line with regulation, create procedures that are not currently in place, help the team with the email inbox, ad hoc queries and I have my own projects that I look after. For example, I have been working on guidance for managers, when the Farnborough office has a work experience placement start, and the process they should follow.
Before BMW I had a few other jobs, my first job in 2016 was also an apprenticeship, this was a level 2 in Business Administration, I progressed further onto a Level 3 in Business Administration too. I was not destined to go to college, but I still wanted the qualifications. The highlight has been to start so young and grow into the professional, well-mannered, organised, mature young adult that I am today, and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the amazing mentors as managers/teams I have had, and continue to have. But also, the opportunity that apprenticeships have given me to learn as well as train in a full-time job. I would say my career highlight is where I am now completing a level 5, with one of the best-known brands around the world.
The biggest challenge of my career is making my voice heard, as a young adult sometimes your experience and knowledge can be looked over, but as long as you have the information to back up your point and have done your research, employees should appreciate your findings.
With BMW, they give you multiple opportunities to provide an opinion and you matter. I am making more of an impact and I am starting to feel more respected for my ideas, abilities and the work I produce.
“I would say to face this head on is 'walk before you can run'. Gain as much experience from talking to different people as possible, understand their styles of working, so you're able to get your point across more clearly. An opportunity will present itself.”
The support you have from BMW is fantastic, my colleagues are willing to provide evidence I can use in my essays, they're also happy to chat through any tasks or 'business acumen' that does not make sense. BMW also have networking events you can join to get to know people better, or groups that follow your same interests. I also have the support of other apprentices within the organisation, we have a group chat as well as monthly catch ups with each other, and we also try to get activities in like bowling!
The CEO and Management committee of BMW Financial services meet with us apprentices quarterly to see how our experience with BMW is going. They want to know any worries we may have and any improvements the apprentices have. The University Centre Farnborough are supportive with the Level 5, the lecturers are taking time to do 1 to 1s with us and are happy to look over drafts of work. I also have a group chat with the other people on my course, who are willing to help.
If the apprenticeship goes well, and you make a strong impact on the team, you should be provided with a role at the end of it.
“If you’re thinking about an apprenticeship, don’t think about applying, do it, you will not regret it.”
If you find that the job is not to your liking then you can always progress into something else later, an apprenticeship is all about the experience that you gain through the workplace. Take full advantage of being paid to learn or be qualified in something. You get to meet opportunities face on early and learn from mistakes early! If a company is willing to invest in it, then you should invest time in it. Learn from the managers you’re under and the colleagues you work with. There are so many different apprenticeships out there, you don’t have to stick to Business!