Hello, I Am Selina
My team works with Local Authorities across London and the West Midlands, and I currently spend a lot of my time looking at all up technology strategy for the regions and manage scale campaigns. As I progress throughout my apprenticeship I will work more closely with councils on their digital transformation and becoming a trusted advisor on all things technical and Microsoft.
Tell us more about your experience
I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do in life; I've always loved so many subjects and potential careers that it was much too restrictive to limit myself so early on with no true idea of which path would be right for me to follow. I've now discovered that you never really actually have to come up with a 'right' answer to that- people change careers all the time and so many people I speak to still 'don't know what they want to do'! I am really happy with the apprenticeship route- I am neurodivergent and much prefer learning in a multidimensional way which the apprenticeship caters to. I have the ability to learn interesting topics whilst learning on the job, and the two complement one another! It really is a fantastic route and I would encourage many people to go down it.
My job as an Account Technology Strategist is to be the main person to go to about Microsoft technology- I have to know about all our product stacks at a foundational level so I can coordinate and orchestrate to bring the relevant specialists in. My role is to speak with the decision makers, ideate and strategise on technology direction, and suggest ideas for new things to explore; it's all about translating business needs into technology solutions.
The biggest highlight of my career so far is being nominated for a Women in IT award as Diversity Lead of the Year. It was the most amazing, surreal experience, and though I didn't win I felt so honoured and valued to be in the same category as 9 other amazing women with a lot more experience than me! My biggest challenge was soon after lockdown hit, my manager went on leave for a few months. This was very daunting as I was thrown into the deep-end, suddenly working from home and with no manager! It however ended up being the best thing for my career. With no external direction I was forced to make what I wanted of my own job and take the initiative, and it ended up being the period of most accelerated growth, self-reliance, creativity and success.
"I have a great team around me, with a really supportive manager and amazing colleagues who I bounce off of and always can get help from when I need it."
At the end of my apprenticeship, the assumption/hope is that I will continue in this role as a full-time employee, however don't have much clarity on that at the moment.
If you're considering doing an apprenticeship and don't know where to start, first of all: there is no right answer. Life is complicated and "squiggly", and what you do right now may not be what you're doing in 10 years! Think about what you are looking for in your next step: do you want a qualification? Do you like working and learning on the job? Are you concerned about student debt? Do you want to learn industry skills? If all of the above, look into apprenticeships! There are so many types of organisations that are offering apprenticeships and if you are someone who doesn't think University is right for them, apprenticeships are an incredible alternative. You will learn new skills and be able to contextualise them in the workplace; you will gain support and mentoring; you will be paid to get a degree. There are no shortage of benefits, and I would really encourage looking into different options, speaking to lots of different people and even trying things out through shadowing or work experience if you can!