Hello, I Am Harry B
I decided to do an apprenticeship when I was given information about what they are and the benefits that come with one. University did not interest me; having to go through school again and raking up debt whilst I could start my career early instead seemed stupid to me, I definitely wanted to work. I feel that since working, I have developed much more in a way that will aid my career in the long term, having had plenty of exposure to the industry I'm in, as well as plenty of tasks to complete during my day-to-day activities. Especially in insurance, I don't feel like I'm missing out on the socialising that comes with university, as there are always plenty of events that I can attend and many opportunities to go out, whether that's with work or not. Overall, I believe that an apprenticeship is the best option if you are thinking about choosing either option, especially when thinking about your long-term career path and how much quicker you are likely to progress having been in the industry for longer.
Tell us more about your experience
What are your interests outside of work?
Football, sport, socialising
Can you describe your job and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
My job role varies throughout the month, with the start and the end being by far the busiest. I essentially run the admin side of things for my team, allowing the more senior members of staff to go and broke business. This is great, as it allows me to gain greater knowledge of the industry without being thrown into the deep end, which is essential for my growth and has had significant benefits to me. In the busiest times, I finalize insurance and send out the correct documentation to the client and fix any problems 'post-binding' (period after finishing a deal). In the calmer times, I cater for any endorsements (changes to contract) that need to be made, as well as work out quarterly adjustments for policies and chase underwriters for agreements on things. I tend to shadow the senior people in my team often as I want to learn from them, given their status. During my role I also do plenty of apprenticeship work which involves studying for my qualification, completing tasks submitted by my coach and doing extra-curricular activities when they come up.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
When one of my colleagues departed to move across the market, I have become assistant broker to one of our biggest accounts in the team, which has come with a lot of moving parts and plenty to do, even when the inception date was 2 months after writing this and I am still working on it now. It's been a great opportunity to see how a complex piece of business is dealt with and having a hands-on experience with it has been monumental for my career and I am very fortunate to have it handed to me.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
The biggest challenge would be having to work on multiple jobs at once. Juggling between different tasks throughout the day is a really tough job to do and is often overlooked. It is very easy to lose track or forget certain jobs when you're pre-occupied with another. I've found myself jumping from task to task on very busy occasions, which has been a challenge and led to mistakes, but I try my hardest to learn from them and have come up with ways to be more organised.
What sort of support network do you have at your company?
My team as a whole are incredibly supportive of my learning and want the best for me. They take time out of their hectic schedules to sit with me and talk through areas of the business that I don't understand well, which is something that I highly appreciate. They have also helped me grow my network in the industry, which will be fundamental to growing my career in the future and will allow me to have relationships with the necessary stakeholders.
What will happen at the end of your apprenticeship and have you discussed this with your employer?
Hopefully once I have finished my apprenticeship, I will be able to stay in the same team I am in. I have voiced this to both my coach and line manager, and both were happy with my response, so (touchwood) the likelihood is that I will stay in my role and have a new title, which will be great.
What would be your words of advice to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
My advice for someone looking to do an apprenticeship is to find an industry that genuinely interests you - you want to go to work happy and excited to learn, rather than wishing you were still at home. Use the connections that you have already if you are struggling to find an apprenticeship/industry that suits you and don't be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from people close to you and know what they are talking about. Be prepared to work hard and try your best to stay switched on; be a 'sponge' to new learning as it will be key to moving forward through the apprenticeship. Be patient as well, both whilst waiting for responses and at work; companies do take a long time to go through applications so if you don't hear back straight away, it's completely fine and there's no reason to panic. It's also easy to become frustrated when you may struggle to understand things in the industry for a while, but don't be too harsh because it will all be new, and you'll need time to get to grips with the knowledge; your team will understand as they have been in your shoes before. Lastly, don't hide away from social events or even in the office; try to be as social as you can as this will not only help you learn but will help you build connections and friendships too