Beth is a Resourcing Analyst on a Lloyds Banking Group Advanced Apprenticeship. What has she discovered so far?
Work life balance – ‘Call me Miss Agile’
“Agile working, work life balance, flexible hours – I get these as an apprentice at Lloyds Banking Group.
“Two days a week I’m Miss Agile, working from home with my mobile phone, laptop and wifi, analysing and processing data, and in the office I do 6am to 3pm to avoid the rush hour.
“This leaves my evenings free for fashion blogging and skating, so I’m productive in and out of the office.
“Flexible working definitely helps me to perform better in my job, especially since I’d have long commutes if I came into the office every day.”
The job – ‘All types of people’
“I’m a Resource Analyst in Business Management, in IT.
“It’s the part that looks after the computer systems that make the bank work – and they’re very big systems!
“I’m studying for an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration and I started my apprenticeship in November 2015.
“My job is to look at the resources we have, and to process orders for computer kit. I deal with all kinds of people – new starters, movers and leavers, partners, contractors and permanent staff.”
Strengths – ‘Communicator, organiser, time manager’
“I’d say my main strengths are communication and customer service. And I’ve discovered that I have good time management and organisational skills.
“With more than 80,000 colleagues, we receive a lot of requests, so I have to prioritise them and make sure I’m meeting our agreed level of service and deadlines.”
Realisation – ‘University isn’t for everyone’
“From the day I decided to apply for a Lloyds Banking Group Apprenticeship, I knew I wanted to actively promote apprenticeships as a serious career option.
“At the school I went to, university was presented as the only route to success. But I don’t believe this to be true.
“University isn’t for everyone, and I think it’s very important that young people are shown that there are other ways to progress.
Action – ‘Hosting an apprenticeship event’
“Quite early on in my training, I volunteered to become a Lloyds Banking Group Apprenticeship Ambassador.
“It’s a great thing to do – recently I hosted an apprentice networking event for school and college students.
“I invited senior leaders from my network to come and promote our apprenticeships, and I shared my experiences.
‘By doing this I feel I’m giving students a choice that I wasn’t given, showing them something that could be right for them. I’d like to make a difference if I can.
“The point is exactly that – we are all different. We just have to be agile and flexible in how we develop ourselves.”
Development – ‘Move around, leave your comfort zone’
“My manager has really helped me to discover more about myself and to develop my strengths.
“For instance, soon after I joined, he encouraged me to start chairing our team calls. This took me outside of my comfort zone but it showed me I could do it.
“Now I feel more confident on team calls, and better able to participate in discussions and present at meetings.
“My manager was the one who invited me to get involved in promoting apprenticeships, and to help new apprentices and trainees to settle in.
“I’ve been encouraged to move around the business in other ways too. So now I work-shadow another apprentice who’s in a team similar to mine.
“It’s enabled me to discover how both our teams can work together better and make our processes slicker.”
Plans tomorrow – ‘Keep expanding my network of contacts’
“I’m really happy in my job at the moment, learning and discovering so much.
“I’d like my next job to be similar to this one – something in Business Management but on a bigger scale.
“I want to keep learning, keep training, keep studying and keep meeting new people and expanding my network of contacts.
“In a year’s time, I hope to have a lot more knowledge, and to be at a higher pay grade than I am now.
“In three years’ time, I’d like to be a couple of grades higher, in a new role that I enjoy as much as this one.
“I’m hoping I’ll have discovered more about the wider business, its structures and the areas I could move into, so that I can apply my strengths and develop my passions even more.”
Loves – ‘Passion for fashion’
“I’ve always had a passion for fashion (pardon the pun) and just because I work in IT doesn’t mean I have to start wearing socks and sandals!
“I have a huge collection of good old-fashioned paper Vogue magazines, but I also write an online fashion blog. It carries news and views from fashionistas from all over the world, and it’s gradually becoming more popular in the fashion blogger industry.
“One day I’d like my own fashion business. Lloyds Banking Group is good at to helping young entrepreneurs to prosper, so you never know – watch this space!”
Loves – ‘The balance in ice skating’
“As well as enjoying fashion, I’m also a keen ice skater. It enables me to relax my mind and gives my body a fabulous workout.
“It’s great to have this balance – not just literally, when I’m gliding around the rink, but also a good work life balance.
“I have an interesting job, and an apprenticeship that I’m proud of and keen to promote, so I’m achieving new things every day.
“I’m discovering sides to myself that I can really develop, and I’m active outside work, with time and space to do things I love.
“It’s a full life – and I’m living it!”
Ice skating’s about balance, agility and flexibility – like my work.