Hello, I Am Olivia H
December 2021 and February 2023 Ambassador of the Month
To anyone else out there considering an apprenticeship, I say just do it!
Tell us more about your experience
I have spent the past year working in the real estate finance team in our Manchester office, but I also have helped on deals with our London colleagues. I am responsible for my own files, acting for lenders and borrowers in both large and small financing deals. I get to assist senior colleagues with large financing projects and portfolios from start to finish. I am involved in lots of legal drafting work and also project management.
One of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with during my apprenticeship was when I worked on a loan for a purchase of a multi-million-pound property in London. I even got to act as the lender! Yet, one of my proudest moments was the first time I was asked by my colleague to draft finance and security documents for a new deal. I had never done this before, and it’s usually a task for more senior members of the team. I felt so proud to produce these drafts independently at such an early stage of my career, especially when they are the key documents in all real estate finance deals.
“It’s a massive advantage to have more than six years’ experience by the time I become a qualified solicitor!”
I originally chose the apprentice route as I recognised that I benefit from learning on the job – I prefer to visualise the skills that I’m learning. I saw the benefits in being able to apply the knowledge from our lectures with BPP straight to my work in the firm. I also saw it as a massive advantage to have 6+ years of experience in a law firm, by the time I qualify as a solicitor in 2025!
To anyone else out there considering an apprenticeship, I say just do it! I honestly believe that my apprenticeship is one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, I would definitely advise someone to look at their lifestyle and hobbies outside of the workplace, as you have to be willing to commit to balancing both work and social engagements. I used GetMyFirstJob when searching for apprenticeships and found the site so helpful. I regularly checked there for apprenticeship updates, and it was great to see so many vacancies in one place.
I did have to overcome some obstacles during my experiences as an apprentice. When in the process of applying, and even after receiving my first offer, I received mixed responses when telling people that I had chosen an apprenticeship over university. Many people didn't understand the benefits of an apprenticeship and were not aware of today's opportunities. This often annoyed me and sometimes made me feel disheartened.
“I set out to prove those people wrong and each month I feel as though I have managed to do something further to show that this route to qualification is not inferior to the university route.”
The support I have received from my employer during my apprenticeship has been faultless. I know that I can text, call, facetime my manager whenever I need, or I am concerned, and they will always be happy to help. I have also received great levels of support from my team, as the only apprentice. When exams approached, I felt so supported and encouraged by those around me and they helped to take away any stress from work or take on extra hours to provide me with further revision time.
My training providers have also been wonderful! I’ve been given an amazing level of support and guidance from them. Despite being an online provider, I feel like I have such a great relationship with my manager at BPP, and we have regular catch-ups and feedback meetings which really help a lot. By the end of my apprenticeship, I hope to qualify as a solicitor. My manager is very encouraging of this and guides me to this end goal consistently.
Interested in becoming an ambassador? Find out more!