• Name
  • Job Title and Employer
    Operations Shift Manager
  • Employer
  • Provider
    Open University
  • Levels
    Level 6 (Degree) Apprenticeship
  • Training Provider and Qualification
    Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA)
  • Occupations
  • Apprenticeship Start Date
    Sep 2018
  • Skills Gained
    emotional intelligence communication skills good analytical skills coaching for development managing a team use of Microsoft Office tools
  • What are your interests outside of work?

    My interests include health and fitness; I am a qualified gym instructor and play for my local football club. I’m also interested in music, and I play the drums and bass guitar. Another hobby of mine is camera handling and film editing.

GetMyFirstJob Ambassador

Hello, I Am Samuel

My training providers have given me world-class tutoring and academic support, the best I’ve had to date in my academic career.

Tell us more about your experience

My daily activities as an apprentice include managing a team of up to 15 colleagues and one team leader. This is a time-sensitive and demanding environment to execute receiving, storing, picking, packing, and shipping activities. I oversee timely data collection to update operations metrics to achieve productivity targets, reduce cost per unit, eliminate errors, deliver excellent customer service, and even permit problem resolution.

In addition to this, I partner with cross-functional support teams to improve the proprietary tools and systems we work with. I also function closely with legal and safety departments to ensure activities remain compliant. I lead materials and inventory management, conduct budget reviews and report cost plans to upper management.

My most exciting project to date has been with our involvement with COVID-19 testing kits. I managed a team of around 15 people and had oversight of the end-to-end implementation and extraction of the National Testing Programme (NTP). I strategised delivery, storage plans and managed peak volume intake for TK Maxx. I also mobilised the NTP contract within four days, transitioning it from an MS Excel solution to WMS Unison 414, driving a successful strategic change initiative. Overall, we helped store around 45 million testing kits during the programme!

“It only took some research to realise an apprenticeship was the right choice for me.”

My proudest moment with my company is when I was recognised and praised by my senior management and the Department for Health & Social Care for the efforts and contribution of my team in the response to the pandemic, a cause of national significance. I received a personal commendation from my Managing Director for my performance and my contribution to the business’s success. It was so rewarding that I could support the conversion of temporary colleagues to full-time permanent staff.

I decided to do an apprenticeship after considering my options. It only took some research and active reflection to realise that an apprenticeship was the real deal for me! To anyone thinking of an apprenticeship, I would make sure that you are well informed about the programme you're interested in. Be aware of what you’re getting into as they all vary. You should dare to be different, and don’t feel left out if you choose an apprenticeship over other options.

Before my apprenticeship, I told my family and friends that going straight into university was not for me. Initially, they were unfamiliar with the concept of an apprenticeship as an alternative to university and weren’t as supportive of my decision to choose one over a traditional degree. Over time, I helped them realise the benefits and value of my apprenticeship and now they're very supportive – they’ve even become apprenticeship evangelists to my wider friends and family!

“My family have become apprenticeship evangelists!”

I’ve received loads of opportunities to network across my organisation from my employer. It has enabled me to meet my fellow counterparts and senior business leaders who have provided me with mentorship. My training providers have given me world-class tutoring and academic support, the best I’ve had to date in my academic career.

At the end of my apprenticeship, I hope to see myself taking on greater responsibilities in areas of operational and people management. My current training and development plans will help me develop the relevant financial and commercial acumen to be an effective manager within my organisation.

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