As part of our National Apprenticeship Week celebration, we have interviewed Olivia Rose, an Internal Sales Apprentice here at Aico.
Below, Olivia describes her apprenticeship experience and how it has benefitted her career.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I wanted to do an apprenticeship to further my education and gain qualifications whilst also gaining experience in a working environment. When I left school, I went to sixth form for a year but found that it wasn’t for me. I had a part time job in hospitality alongside sixth form and found that I enjoyed working a lot more. I also found working much more beneficial to learning life skills and customer service skills. When I saw the Customer Service Apprenticeship advertised, I thought that it would be perfect for me to enhance and build upon what I already knew.
Why did you choose Aico?
I chose Aico because the Customer Service Apprenticeship I applied for sounded like something that would help build upon my existing skills and meant that I would be able to move out of my hospitality role into a job that could help me progress further in life. I also saw that Aico was a great company to work for and already knew a few people who had said how great it was. As well as this, I had seen the work that Aico do to support charities, which I wanted to get involved with and give back to the local community.
What are your main duties as an apprentice at Aico?
As an Internal Sales Apprentice at Aico, my main duties include processing orders, answering calls and general admin jobs, such as filing and monitoring the sales/enquiries inboxes for any orders or queries that may come in.
How has Aico supported you with your apprenticeship?
Aico has supported me through my apprenticeship by giving me thorough training in how to provide good customer service as well as hands-on training in the products that we offer, giving me an in-depth knowledge.
My Manager, Kelly, and my teammates are always on hand to help should I need it, and everyone is very supportive. We have also had several teambuilding days.
How do you manage the learning and working aspects of the apprenticeship?
To balance the learning and working aspects of the apprenticeship, I dedicate a morning or afternoon each week to keep up to date with the work that goes towards my end qualifications. I am also constantly learning new things whilst completing my day-to-day jobs which can help towards my apprenticeship work.
How has an apprenticeship benefitted you?
The apprenticeship has benefitted me because it has enabled me to learn whilst earning money, working and gaining more than just the apprenticeship qualifications.
I have learnt how to use a range of different computer programmes such as Sage and Salesforce. I have also gained extensive training on the products that we offer as well as the work we do with charities in the local community and further afield.
Where do you see this apprenticeship taking you in your future career?
For the future, this apprenticeship will help me provide excellent customer service as I progress in my role at Aico. It has also put me in a good place to keep improving on the skills I have learnt already.
What has been the best moment of your apprenticeship so far?
The best moment of my apprenticeship would be having the chance to go to Willowdene Farm, an organisation that we at Aico work closely with to help improve their Rehabilitation Centre. I got to see the amazing work that my colleagues had already done there and had the opportunity to get involved myself.
Also, having the chance to complete additional qualifications on top of the ones I will gain from the apprenticeship has been great. I have gained a distinction in Customer Services EDA Product Knowledge, which is a certificate recognised throughout the electrical distributor sector.
What would you say to someone thinking of an apprenticeship?
I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship. When I was in school, apprenticeships weren’t really mentioned as an option, it was just sixth form or college then onto university. If I had known more about them whilst in school, then I would have gone straight for an apprenticeship instead of going to sixth form for a year.
For more information, please visit our Apprenticeship page to learn more about our Programme and explore current opportunities.
Olivia enjoys watching films and is a keen baker