Written by Amy King

Being a Business Apprentice is a learning curve that is great for anyone wanting to learn and work at the same time. The choice to become an apprentice was difficult to make, I had the grades to go on to university but that itself would pose problems from funding and accommodation, to getting work afterwards. The work based learning route seemed the most responsible step forward, I could learn and work at the same time as well as gaining valuable life experience and I could always go to night classes to gain a degree, more importantly the chance of employment is a lot higher for an apprentice over that of a graduate.

When you start your apprenticeship you won’t be expected to work miracles, and the jobs given to youwont be too hard. As you learn and grow in your new job, you will then be given more challenging tasks so that you can learn more, but still no miracles!! Now here are my top tips to surviving as a Business Apprentice.

Don’t be afraid to ask! People don’t mind if you ask question. If you are stuck, have forgotten something or just want to know more then you can ask someone. It is part of their job in taking on an apprentice to support and help you; they won’t think you’re stupid, just learning. Everyone has been in your position at some point, as either an apprentice or starting in a new job, and it could bring back fond memories for them.  One of the best ways to learn things is to ask!

Be a sponge. Knowledge is your friend so soak it up. Learn, listen and ask questions; you don’t have to cram it all in at once and you won’t have an exam on it so if you forget something it doesn’t matter. But try to pick things up as it’s easier to learn things from the start than be stuck a few months down the line. Ensure that you take notes; a few bullet points will do as you can always refer to these again.

Plan ahead. During the day, write all your tasks down and note your things to do. If someone gives you a job, then write down the specifics, and ask for more details if needed. It will make your day and any tasks easier.

Friendly and happy to help. A smile spreads and even if you feel scared it will help you, people smile back and you will start to feel more comfortable in your new role. As you help others, you will learn more about their job and the workplace around you, and you will also make friends. More importantly BE YOURSELF! Your personality defines you and at first you may be nervous, but as you come out of your shell people will get to see you for who you are.

Be calm and relax. Don’t panic; just breathe and think. Things are not be as bad as they may seem and you can always ask for help. Go home at the end of the day and leave your work at work, relax and get a mug of hot choc.

I hope my pointers can help you, I know they have helped me. Other colleagues will help and support you with ideas of their own on how you can survive. One thing that I can say is that I am very happy to be a Business Apprentice.