Aleighsha Andrews Technology Apprentice
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway!’
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship at Sky? (Why this particular programme and company)?
Having previously attended University and realising that it wasn’t for me, an apprenticeship seemed like the correct path for me as I wanted to be able to work and learn at the same time. After initially coming across the listing for the Sky apprenticeship I looked into a few other apprenticeship programmes and decided that Sky was by far the best option for me, with Sky being such a big company the possible opportunities would be pretty much endless, and I knew I would have the ability to grow personally and professionally because of this.
How did you find out about your apprenticeship?
I found out about my apprenticeship whilst searching for a job on one of the many Job search sites available, I had clicked on the listing just out of curiosity to begin with and after reading the description realised that not only was this exactly the change that I had been looking for but that it was exactly the type of company that I wanted to work for.
What’s the culture like at Sky? How are you supported?
The culture at Sky is amazing and unlike anywhere I have worked before. Sky as an employer and company are all about inclusivity and making sure that everyone is supported in the way that they need, they understand that every individual is different so a “one size fits all” approach isn’t always suitable. From the start of my apprenticeship, I have been supported every step of the way, from being paired with a “Buddy” who was in the 2nd year of their apprenticeship so they understood exactly what I was experiencing and the help that I would need, to being surrounded by a supportive team of developers who are always willing to help and support me whenever I need it.
Adjusting to working life can be challenging, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Before starting my apprenticeship, I had been working in retail for 8 years, so I was already used to the working world. However, this didn’t make it any easier for me than it was for the younger apprentices. I faced slightly different challenges to those apprentices who had just left school. I had been out of education for 8 years so had fallen out of practice with a lot of skills needed within an educational environment. Completing my coursework was initially a bit tricky due to this, however the assessor provided to us by our learning training provider helped me to overcome this by providing the guidance and support that I needed to complete my coursework.
Who is your learning training provider and what does the learning for your qualification consist of?
GP Strategies is the learning training provide for the Livingston based Apprenticeships. The learning needed to complete the qualification is mostly based upon the work I carry out on a day-to-day basis, so whatever you are learning within the team you are based is what is used to complete the coursework for your diploma.
What are the most important transferable skill you use in your role? (Please name at least three).
Team working, good communication skills and being able to manage your own time are three of the most important skills I believe I use within my role daily. Most of the projects I have worked on within my role have involved not only my team but teams from other departments so not only being able to work and communicate effectively with your own team is important but being able to do this with other departments and teams is very important for the successful completion of these projects. As a lot of the projects we work on can have tight deadlines being able to manage your own time effectively is also very important, being able to prioritize your tasks not only means the project will be completed on time but it can also help increase the quality of work that you are producing if you’re not rushing to complete it ahead of looming deadline.
How can students begin developing this skill in their school subjects? Is it specific to certain subjects or can it be developed across the curriculum?
I think most school subjects are already helping students develop these skills within their curriculum, completing homework and projects on time for all their classes is an example of students developing their time management skills. Getting involved in group projects, presentations and classroom discussions on topics are all good ways to develop your communication and team working skills.
What can young people do outside of school/college to develop this skill?
Outside of school and college there are ways of developing these skills as well. If you are a part of a football team or any type of sports team for that matter, then you are already developing your ability to work within a team and being able to communicate with your teammates is important to try to win a game. A lot of charities are also looking for people to volunteer, not only is it a really rewarding thing to do but it can help you to build confidence, challenge yourself and help you to gain skills and experience that will help you achieve your career and personal goals in the future.
What was the application process like?
The application process was a lot more fun and less nerve wracking than I thought it was going to be. The digital assessments were so much fun to complete that it didn’t even feel like an assessment at all. I am one of those people who get really nervous when it comes to interviews but the people at Sky who carried these out were so kind and friendly that it put me completely at ease from the beginning about five minutes into the interview, I had forgotten all about being nervous.
How has this apprenticeship helped your career – career goals?
What is your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far would have to be completing my diploma.
What advice would you give to someone applying for or considering this apprenticeship?
Simple. Just go for it. As someone who was worried that I wouldn’t be good enough to get the job and then actually getting it, its totally worth it. My first manager at Sky gave me some great advice when I told her how the fear of failing had held me back from doing a lot of things in the past, she said “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”