Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

NAW2018: “Being an apprentice gave me security and stability”

March 6, 2018

As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018, I feel nostalgic about the start of my career at Cisco. Eighteen years old and ready to leave school, I still had no idea what I wanted to do.

I didn’t feel passionate enough about a subject to want to study it at University, so I started full time work. After 2 years working in a 9 ‘till 5 office job, I decided that I wanted to go back into education and so started exploring opportunities.

As a result, I applied for the Cisco Apprenticeship Programme through a recommendation from a friend, and started in August 2014. For 3 years I worked cross-functionally across the business in a vast variety of roles. From 4-week to 9-month placements, I shadowed a variety of teams (17 in total!), providing support on existing work and managing my own projects.

I’ve now been working in a full-time role as a Sales Representative in the UKI Commercial SMB team since I graduated last August.

I can most definitely say that the experiences and opportunities I gained from my apprenticeship have given me the knowledge, skills and capability of fulfilling my role

From basic technical skills to gaining a multitude of industry recognized qualifications, such as my Associate Project Management certificate. Being an apprentice also gave me the security and stability of being employed and earning money whilst developing my professional and personal skills. By no means was the apprenticeship easy, but without challenging my ability, I wouldn’t have gained the confidence that I have today.

I am proud to say that I work for Cisco, I know that my ideas are valued and I am always supported in developing my skills. I love working in technology; being at the forefront of the latest and greatest is exciting! I enjoy Cisco’s ethos, from the flexible working environment to meeting so many different people, whether that be face to face or virtual. Every day I am inspired by the people that I get to work with and I have been given so many opportunities that I know I wouldn’t have got elsewhere.

I’ve project managed ‘female in tech’ events and have hosted open days in the hope of inspiring young females to consider a career in technology, as well as being an ambassador for a charity event called ‘The Leaderboard’.

I have also been fortunate enough to complete a stretch assignment with Learning & Development, where I supported the global HR project team in launching a new tool, and as part of that I also had the chance to join the team in San Diego for 10 days. Even though I have now graduated, I know that there will be endless opportunities and I am excited for what the future holds for me.

National Apprenticeship Week is a great week to celebrate the amazing achievements of past and current apprentices, congratulate employers that offer apprenticeships and celebrate the effects that apprenticeships have on the wider community.

The government plan that they will increase the quantity of apprenticeships by achieving 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, to raise productivity and help create highly skilled workforces through recognizing young talent and supporting the development of young people at the very start of their career. I am extremely proud that I began my career at Cisco as one of their apprentices and wish all apprentices embarking on the start of their career the very best of luck!

The intake for our next batch of Cisco Apprentices is open! Apply here

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