Marianne Rossi, 22, is a Finance and Amenities Officer, previously a Parish Officer, after completing her apprenticeship in Business Administration at Melksham Without Parish Council. We spoke to Marianne about her apprenticeship journey and her manager Teresa Strange.
What were your preconceptions of apprenticeships before you started? Did you always plan on undertaking one?
No, I actually undertook a degree course for one year to become a Social Worker, but I found it wasn’t for me. I was re-evaluating my options when I saw an advert in the Melksham News for this role. I thought it would be a great opportunity; my brother had completed an apprenticeship and encouraged me to apply. So, I always had a positive view of apprenticeships, you can earn whilst you learn!
How has the apprenticeship changed you? What new skills do you have?
It has given me a space where I am learning and building my confidence, previously I wasn’t always that confident. Working at the Parish Council has enabled me to meet new people from all walks of life and has given me the opportunity to deal with a range of various issues. One moment I can be answering the phone as the first point of contact, and then later in the day I can be at a council meeting dealing with people face to face. I now have the skills, knowledge and confidence to triage calls and to decide who the most appropriate person is to deal with the issue, if of course it isn’t myself. I think that an apprenticeship provides a varied role and an opportunity to learn so much.
My proudest moment would be taking on some of the financial duties; I had the backing of the Council to do so without having any previous experience, so I knew they believed in me. We then passed both an internal and external audit with flying colours.
Teresa, as an employer why did you feel it was important to recruit an apprentice?
We thought it was a good idea because we wanted somebody younger in the office, to change the culture and have a different perspective. We knew we could offer a lot, although we have a small team, we are able to mould and develop an employee into the role to suit our business and give a really personal level of support. Seeing Marianne learn to communicate with people at different levels and develop so that she has the confidence to deal with the varied manner of issues raised by the public has been great. We hope we represent the SME’s and prove that an apprentice can make a real difference in any business.