Amelia Fitzgerald, 18, and Charlotte Killick, 17, work at Imagine Cruising – an award-winning provider of bespoke and tailor-made cruise holidays across the world. Their apprenticeship scheme is special in the way it runs, it offers apprentices the chance to work across all departments during their yearlong placement, therefore allowing them to find their niche.
Both Amelia and Charlotte undertook a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship, Amelia is currently studying and Charlotte completed her apprenticeship in September 2017.
We started by finding out about Amelia and Charlotte’s educational background and what their perceptions of apprenticeships was and why they chose to do an apprenticeship at Imagine Cruising.
“I started studying for my A-Levels but I wasn’t enjoying them so I left school after the first year. I find the process of revision, exams and being in the classroom doesn’t suit the sort of character I am. Therefore, I thought being in the work place would benefit me much more. I had heard a lot about apprenticeships growing up and understand some people think of it as long hours with low pay but that’s definitely not the case! I now know an apprenticeship lets you become a part of the company and gain real skills which I wasn’t getting in the classroom.”
“I studied a BTEC in Business at School and really enjoyed the subject, but I felt I could be learning so much more on the job. I looked at my options and heard through friends who work at Imagine Cruising that they were starting an Apprenticeship programme. I was living in Basingstoke at the time so I had to commute to the office here in Wootton Bassett, that included 4 trains and 2 taxis! I have recently moved to the area since completing my apprenticeship. I put in the time for Imagine Cruising because I think they have such a great programme, they are unique – I love business and travel so this company was exactly right for me.”
We asked Charlotte what she would say to others who are considering an apprenticeship?
“Keep your options open, don’t pick a course that is too niche, you can always change your mind but take the opportunity to begin with. An apprenticeship can get you far: by the time my peers have completed their A-Levels/University, I will already have 5 years work experience, that is something to keep in mind. It is also important to remember that apprenticeships aren’t just for practical roles such as hairdressing and engineering or if you didn’t do well in exams.”
Finally we asked Amelia and Charlotte what their future plans are?
“I plan on working on my apprenticeship and making the most out of Imagine Cruising’s fantastic programme, I will get to move around each department one month at a time to find out about the business inside out. I will look to continue studying afterwards, whether this is a Level 3 or looking into a Degree apprenticeship. So far, my proudest moments are that I am being treated the same as any other employee, I am being give the same responsibilities as everyone else and I have been tasked with helping to organise an operational event in Singapore this year!”
“Now I have completed my course I am going to take a year to focus on my new role and see where that leads, I am thinking about future study but I am really enjoying my role in international product development currently. That is something I love about apprenticeships, it gives you options to progress and build on what you have learnt.”