How an Apprenticeship Helped Me Kickstart My Career

Written by Professional Academy's Debbie Herridge, previously Operations and Accounts Executive at Professional Academy

Finally, after a year of being an apprentice my certificate had arrived! All my hard work has paid off as I officially have another qualification under my belt, and a first-hand insight of how an apprenticeship can develop you as a person and kickstart your career.

When I first dropped out of college I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself. I was so involved with the stigma around going to university that I was completely lost. I was very eager to work and earn some money but I also knew I had to stay in education, and voila! Apprenticeships ticked both boxes and even additional benefits that I have mentioned in my previous blog.

I spent some time considering the different types of apprenticeships that were offered, and then applied through different study centres for all the ones I was interested in. Ever since year 10 I knew I wanted to be an accountant or something in finance, so I applied for these, but I also applied for business admin apprenticeships as a backup. Always have a backup!

I had an accounting and a business admin apprenticeship offered to me, two completely courses with two different companies. Naturally it was assumed I would go for the accounting one, seeing as that was my original goal, but instead I based my decision on how the interviews went and how I felt about the atmosphere of the company. In the accounting interview, I was under a lot of pressure it was completely out of my comfort zone, in comparison the interview for Business admin was more relaxed and the people where amazing in welcoming me. Now this isn’t me being biased, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel like everyone at Professional Academy are lovely!

Fast forward a couple of months into my apprenticeship and I was excelling with the jobs they were giving me, so much so that I upgraded my apprenticeship from a level 2 to a level 3. The first few months were mostly learning for me – I would avoid using the phone as much as I could due to my lack in confidence! After a while I started warming up to the jobs I was given and getting more used to the systems the company were using, the more I got used to this the more responsibility I could take on.

Of course there were times when I made mistakes, and don’t get me wrong I still do! But because of the nature of the apprenticeships there is always a helping hand, whether it be from the study centre or the company. And this is what I feel is so great about apprenticeships, no one is going to expect you to jump straight in the deep end, you have time to adapt to the full time working life and ease your way into the job by starting with small tasks and building it up, and by building up responsibility it has alleviated pressure that I would have felt if I had just gone straight into working life from University.

What am I up to now after my apprenticeship?

Well, I am moving onto the next qualification! I am very lucky in that my company are looking to help me develop in what I want to do, so I will shortly be starting an ACCA course and work my way through the accountancy qualifications. Which will no doubt be hard, but with the support from the study centre and of course Professional Academy I am sure I will be able to get more certificates for my wall!

If you would like to find out more about the apprenticeships that we offer visit Our business development team would be happy to have a chat at any time on 01223 365 505 or via