Sophie Steel, 21, from Swindon is on a 1-year Business Administration Apprenticeship via Swindon College whilst working at Tinkers Lane Doctors surgery. She started the role in February of 2019 and sat down with us to tell us how she is getting on and what she has learnt so far.
What does your day typically consist of and how is this helping you develop your skills?
I work between the reception area and in the back office on the switchboard triaging calls. When I work on reception I am directing patients, dealing with enquires and booking appointments. I also register new patients onto the system. I think these tasks have helped me develop into a natural multi-tasker, you never know who might walk through the door or be on the line. Every day is different.
Did you always want to undertake an apprenticeship?
No, I left College after my A-Levels and moved to South Wales to go to University to study Film, but I just didn’t enjoy it, I found the course wasn’t for me. I moved home and started working at Nationwide Building Society call centre whilst looking for other opportunities. I did a lot of research about the different roles/apprenticeships I came across to make sure it was the right fit for me. Just when I was starting to lose hope I found this role! I knew a little about apprenticeships, but I didn’t know what they entailed exactly but I soon saw it would be a chance for me to gain work experience and break into a career whilst earning. I am the first person in my family to undertake an apprenticeship, everyone was supportive of me.
What would your advice to others who are considering an apprenticeship be?
Look at the job description closely and research the company you are applying to and in your interview asked to be shown around so you can get a feel for the environment, I think that is really important. When you are researching the company write down any questions you might ask if you were to get an interview so you are prepared and don’t forget! Also, once you are in the role talk to others around you, you can learn so much from them for example I talk to different members of the team to find out what they do, and I can understand how I can progress by hearing about their career path.
We also spoke to Sophie’s employer to find out why Tinkers Lane Surgery feel so strongly about supporting the future workforce via an Apprenticeship.
Rosemarie – why do you think having an apprentice in the team is so important?
We have had various apprentices over the years with some great successes for example one young lady is now studying to become a nurse and another is a medical sectary at the Great Western Hospital. We understand some younger apprentices will move on but apprenticeships provide a great stepping stone, so we are happy to support them. Having a younger person in the office and on the front desk gives us a breath of fresh air and they have better IT skills to!