Hello, I Am Jazz
I love that I can earn while I learn valuable on-the-job experience, all while avoiding the debts that come with uni.
Tell us more about your experience
I initially wanted to do an apprenticeship instead of going to university. At school I realised there was a lot of bias – university was the favourable option. This is also the norm for many Asian families, but I wanted to divert from this. My parents were supportive of my pursuit of an apprenticeship and career in IT as a young Asian woman in a previously male-dominated industry. So, I quickly started to look for apprenticeship opportunities, and Severn Trent Water appealed to me.
I currently work as a Scrum Master (almost like a team coach) to ensure the smooth delivery of workstreams within two teams who deliver value. My role means I coach the team to follow agile and Scrum values and principles. This basically means that I’m an observant leader who removes any impediments, facilitates Scrum ceremonies, and enables the team to work effectively and emphasise collaboration.
During my time on the apprenticeship scheme, I was a Project Manager for one of my first placements. Here, I had to manage a meeting room booking system project by engaging with a third party – I had to coordinate a UAT (User Acceptance Testing) phase and upgrade our Service Catalogue to name a few exciting responsibilities! But the proudest moment I’ve had in my apprenticeship was being shortlisted and receiving, the ‘Highly Commended’ award at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards! I was so happy to represent the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and Apprentice communities together.
“If you’re in the process of deciding the next stages of your education, definitely give apprenticeships some consideration.”
There are countless benefits to an apprenticeship, whether it’s earning while you’re learning valuable experience in the real working world, your employer ensuring you’re upskilled in your chosen area or having a better chance of receiving a job after the scheme. There are also the extra-curricular activities you can get involved in, from visits to schools to talk about apprenticeships, or even getting to attend award shows.
Before my apprenticeship, self-confidence was always an issue for me. But I’ve grown so much as a person with the support and recognition from my colleagues. I’ve also faced some issues with balancing my studies and work, and importantly, my personal life. However, I’ve learnt how to manage my time by creating a study plan and leaving time for the things I enjoy, like fitness and reading. At work, we’ve also been able to get involved with other team building activities at the apprentice induction in the Lake District. We got to go mountain climbing and do high rope activities – I loved every minute of it!
“I’ve had so many opportunities that come from my role. Whether that’s visiting the house of Commons or becoming a BAME Apprentice Finalist.”
Being an ambassador with the Severn Trent apprenticeship scheme provides personal recognition and confidence building, while also being beneficial to the BAME and apprenticeship community. It’s a win-win scenario! I’ve also had loads of mentoring opportunities from seasoned professionals to aid my personal development early in my career. My colleagues really value and welcome my contributions.
With my training provider, we have access to our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) where we can log any concerns on the portal so we can get support from tutors and other students. We also have a dedicated apprenticeship coach who’ll address any concerns we have, whether that’s assessment deadlines, mental health support or general guidance on completing the apprenticeship.
“I’ve picked up loads of interpersonal and technical skills over the years, like Terraform coding, scrum mastery and cloud technologies. There’s almost too many to list!”
After my apprenticeship, I plan to apply for a full-time Scrum Master role at Severn Trent Water, which I’ve already been discussing with my employer. It’s exciting! Down below I’ve shared some extra-curricular events which I’ve been involved in – hopefully, they’ll help inspire you to also take on apprenticeship too!I received a Highly Commended Award at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards in 2020.Severn Trent has committed to a Social Mobility Pledge with Justine Greening MP (co-founder). This is all about giving people opportunities, regardless of their background or class. Severn Trent also have signed up for an Inclusive Leadership Pledge which encourages organisations to increase diversity within their leadership teams. I visited the House of Commons in March 2018 to represent STW’s Digital Apprenticeship Programme alongside the company CEO.
Interested in becoming an ambassador? Find out more!