Starting work at WDL in 2013 as an apprentice Project Manager, I was apprehensive of what to expect. I was absolutely thrilled to be selected for the role but it was my first “proper” job and I was unsure of what it would be like working in an office environment, as well as meeting new people and integrating well within the team; not forgetting being faced with new challenges each day.
My first few weeks consisted of inductions and numerous training sessions, it flew by and its safe to say I went into information overload. There was so much to think about and remember, from the aspects of scheduling and time recording, things that I had never experienced before, to simply remembering how to use various programs that we use on a daily basis, such as Active Collab.
During the first few weeks of working here, I began managing smaller tasks within production and sat in on a number of project kick off meetings. This introduced me to the process of how WDL work, as well as giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to some clients over the telephone and put into practice, some of the things that I had learnt in training. Being in contact with clients on a daily basis has improved my confidence dramatically and I now enjoy, and jump at the chance to manage a new project from start to finish. Every project is different and I take interest in learning about the particular company, observing and being part of their project journey through each stage of our process.
It’s no secret that before working here, I was clueless about all things technical. I had no idea how a website magically appeared on the internet or just how much work is put into creating a fully functioning site and to be honest, I’d never even thought about it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times the office has been in fits of laughter after hearing one of my “stupid” questions or “theories” about how things should work, but everyone has always been understanding and happy to answer and assist where possible which instantly made me feel at ease.
As part of my apprenticeship I attended the Colchester Institute every Monday where I studied a Social Media course along with many other apprentices. At first, I think I underestimated the work load but I knuckled down and ploughed through tutorials in order to help me answer the questions. As well as Social Media, my course was helpfully merged with units centred around Project Management and Client Communication, which is a key aspect of my role at WDL. As well as learning many different skills and programs, I also made some great friends that I am in regular contact with.
We now welcome aboard four new apprentices, Sophie, Amy, Heather and Jeff. They are working within each area of the company, Design, Front End Development, Digital Marketing and Technical Support, as well as attending college one day each week. I am so happy that I did the apprenticeship as I now have a full time role at WDL; I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship scheme as it has given me the skills and confidence boost I needed to kick start my career.
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