Hello, I Am Gafar
I realised that the university route just wasn't for me.
Tell us more about your experience
My Role as a Canada Water apprentice entails a variety of different things. Having the privilege to be part of a dynamic team encompassing various roles, I can lend support to each team and get involved in various projects on the Canada Water masterplan. As I’m currently working towards my Project Management qualification, I work alongside a few of our project directors and managers, shadowing them and learning the role. My day-to-day tasks also includes diary management of the heads of the CW team and the management of a few of our assets. These are just amongst a few other things which I do every day!
The most exciting project in which I have worked on is the setting up, and delivery of a new network within British Land in which I am a Co-Chair of called the Next Gen Network. This network aims to bridge the gap at British Land and provide support for the younger property professionals in the company and the wider industry. From working on the business case as a piece of coursework to being able to pitch the idea to key stakeholders, it was a really rewarding project.
My Proudest moment in the company is when I delivered my work on the Next Gen Network in a staff meeting to the entire company. This was a great achievement as it was great to share a piece of work that I was passionate about and it was great to hear the feedback from individuals such as the CEO, the CFO, and others in support.
“An apprenticeship is the best way to learn viable, transferable professional skills to get your career started!”
One of the reasons I chose to do an apprenticeship is because I have always had a keen interest in learning and acquiring knowledge in certain areas. However, as vocational learning, the university route was not for me. After working in residential sales for a number of years, I really wanted to explore the world of development, and went in search of an apprenticeship! My word of advice to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship is that it’s the best way to learn viable, transferable professional skills that can set you on the right path to a rewarding career.
One big adversity I faced before applying for my apprenticeship was maintaining the key responsibilities that I had. At the time, the apprenticeship pay rate was rather low, meaning I was rather limited in my options. I mitigated this by being assertive in the apprenticeship roles I’d apply for and making sure my application was finished to the best of my ability for whichever company I applied to. I also made efforts to constantly upskill myself to make myself a more attractive candidate.
“My employer has given me loads of opportunities to be involved in, and lead, some amazing projects.”
Here at BL, I have received tremendous support from my colleagues, line manager, and other staff. I have access to plenty of resources and I can approach any team members with my questions and interests in work or other things I’d like to be involved in. I also had loads of opportunities to get participate in, and even lead, projects involving our community partners and stakeholders. British Land has invested a great deal in my professional and personal development throughout my apprenticeship.
My training provider has also given immense support, with one-to-one coaching and a personal tutor over my apprenticeship. My coach and I set regular objectives and have regular catch ups to discuss both my work and my development. With consistent feedback and reviews, I’ve been able to understand the content and what is required during my apprenticeship. My training provider has also created a community that mirrors the social aspect of University, with various speaking events from noteworthy influential people, upskilling events such as public speaking and insight events into tech and many other networking events.
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