Hello, I Am Lysette
November 2021 Ambassador of the Month
I wanted to jump straight into my professional career and get started on the career ladder - I knew an apprenticeship was for me!
Tell us more about your experience
My sixth form mainly focused on applying to university and I knew I didn’t want to take the conventional route. I went through the process of applying, even visiting on open days across the country, but after speaking to my family and teachers, I decided against it. I knew I could have my degree funded and work alongside professionals to gain amazing experience at the same time. I’m now doing a similar qualification to the degree I wanted to do at uni and gaining real-life industry experience.
“I’m so glad I chose this route as I get to apply all the theories I’ve learnt to real scenarios.”
If you’re thinking of applying for an apprenticeship, I would say to research the routes that are available to cover your options. I’m happy I investigated uni so I knew what it would be like – by having an awareness I could decide based on all the facts and found the best route for me. Others might think the traditional option is better, but I found an apprenticeship to be the most beneficial for my lifestyle. It’s also important to not just follow others; if someone is pushing university, don’t just go with the trend!
In an operational support function role, we spend a lot of time analysing data to support over 400 sites to accurately report their data, including information on warehouses, transport, and management services. I spend my time meeting with our sites (virtually) to determine any issues with data to work on a resolution. This then feeds into the main reporting platform so we can review processes and allows the Senior Leadership Team to strategically implement decisions.
I also work on internal projects, like reporting system redesign with other departments, such as Finance and HR. That means the team and I get a great overview of the business and its various units (sectors). The role I’m in was originally supposed to be temporary – I was part of the sign-off of a countrywide project. It was so exciting when they offered me it as a permanent position as I worked so well in that environment. I even operated alongside key functional stakeholders to align our reporting systems to allow for a single point of truth.
“This was the first major project that I have contributed to and has successfully reached global stakeholders interest.”
The opportunity allowed me to meet new people (online) during the pandemic, to network with regional and global stakeholders, and have greater exposure in the business. I am now responsible for maintaining the hard work the project generated, which is a brilliant area for me to specialise. The proudest moment I’ve had was after delivering and signing off the project! As a team, we worked hard to deliver, with endless hours and the help of stakeholders. The manager even said that “if anything good was to come out of the pandemic, it was Lysette joining our team”! It helped me understand how valuable my contribution was to the success of the project. I’ve also received acknowledgement through a senior manager in a ‘Recognising Excellence’ award.
However, there have been some challenges that I’ve overcome. Logistics, historically, has been a male-dominated industry. But DHL is making genuine efforts to improve. We have Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, which support the elimination of adversity. There have been times when I have felt like the minority, for example in group situations, but as a company they’re very accommodating of all ethnicities, ages, and genders.
At DHL, we also have the Emerging Talent Team, a dedicated function that supports graduates and apprentices throughout the business. The apprentice team are so supportive and helpful, holding catch-ups if needed. It’s a brilliant community feel, and we can join town halls to discuss topics on a regular basis. DHL also work with the Open University to ensure our roles are applicable to the module content and to determine internal training that can aid us in our job.
The Open University have likewise been extremely supportive during my apprenticeship. They have channels, like the APD (Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Manager) and my practice tutor that support me in any queries I have. My tutor is particularly fantastic and has been with me throughout the entirety of my apprenticeship. She holds quarterly reviews (check-ins) and is open to calls if I need anything between.
“There are so many skills that I have gained, the list will be endless!”
But some of these are great for progression and include time management, communication (listening, speaking, and writing), organisation, project management, negotiation skills, problem solving, team working, and conflict management. Admittedly the most important skill that I have gained is leadership, whether this relates to process or people.
I have discussed my next steps with my line manager, and I hope to remain with the business and the team following the completion of my apprenticeship and take on more responsibilities and potential line management opportunities in the next year! So, though I didn’t use GetMyFirstJob when searching for vacancies, on reflection, I wish I had to allow me to understand the detail and options available to me at the time.
Interested in becoming an ambassador? Find out more!