The last time we spoke with Lauren in our A day in the life of… a business admin apprentice blog post, she was just a few months into her course.

Now we’re catching up with Lauren around a year after starting at Direct Air to check-in on her achievements!

Lauren's working journey

After starting in October 2019, Lauren has now achieved her Level 2 Business Admin Apprenticeship qualification. Lauren has passed the course with flying colours in just 1 year, and we are now proud to say she’s secured a permanent position at Direct Air, as our Customer Service Administrator.

What was the transition like from being an apprentice to being a permanent Direct Air employee?

As I have worked at Direct Air for a little while now, I felt ready to be moving into a permanent position. However, it still took me by surprise as when I first started my apprenticeship, I wasn’t even sure I would get a permanent role, as everything was so new to me. I didn’t expect to be valued as highly and trusted as much as I am within my role, due to only being 17 years old and fresh from an apprenticeship – I’m so happy with where I’ve landed!

It’s definitely strange not having college work to do for my qualification anymore, but I was happy to finish this in order to have more work time, as accomplishing my studying made room for all of my new responsibilities! Some of these include, leading on ‘service follow-ups’ and obtaining customer feedback in the form of reviews and conversations. As well as helping to promote sales and service. Along with these day to day tasks, I’ll also be taking on a long-term project, which will span over a significant period time and continue to adjust as the company develops.

I will be getting the ball rolling on these tasks in January, but for the meantime, I’ll be continuing with some current tasks that will be carried over into my new role. I’ll be continuing to support my team members by providing annual leave cover, as well as taking the minutes during meetings and producing other documentations. I’ll also still be answering incoming calls, which I feel like I’ve got much better at throughout my apprenticeship, so I’m glad to be keeping this job!

How was the permanent role approached?

Once I’d passed my apprenticeship, my manager arranged a meeting with me to discuss next steps. During this meeting, I was congratulated on completing my apprenticeship and praised for all the hard work I’d put in so far (accompanied by a little chocolate gift!). My manager then went on to offer me the permanent position of a Customer Service Administrator, I was over the moon!

Following this, the expectations of my new role were explained to me, with a run through of all the tasks I’m currently doing, the ones I’ll be carrying over to my permanent role and also my new responsibilities. I was given a list of these, along with the working hours of my new role and pay rate to take away with me and ensure I was happy to accept. I was really grateful and humbled by the offer, of which I accepted shortly after.

Do you feel like the apprenticeship contributed to helping you work to the best of your ability in your permanent role?

Choosing to do an apprenticeship before the permanent role was definitely the best decision I made, and I’ve already recommended the route numerous times to my friends. The course provided me with a huge amount of confidence, as I got to gradually know my colleagues which made me feel much more comfortable in my new surroundings.

Studying and training alongside being in the working environment, really helped me to gain the skills I needed effectively. I learnt how to professionally converse with various stakeholders using accurate terminology. As well as communicating correctly on the phone with customers especially, which is now a huge part of my permanent position.

Will you be continuing your education throughout your permanent position?

At the moment I’m really happy with the current position I’m in and qualifications I now possess. Therefore, I don’t yet plan to move onto the Level 3 Business Admin apprenticeship. However, starting from next year I will be enrolling onto smaller courses which are relevant to my job role or would be effective in developing my industry knowledge e.g. compressed air courses led by our suppliers. This type of further training would be really useful as my permanent position consists of talking to customers on a daily basis, so having the technical knowledge to answer questions would really help.

What is your favourite thing about being in your new permanent role?

One of my favourite things about being offered a permanent position is the security it provides. As although I was already very much a part of Direct Air, I knew my position was going to be assessed following the completion of my course. Also, with the outbreak of the pandemic and the uncertainty it brought for businesses, this risk felt heightened, which is why I’m extremely thankful for the offer all together.

A permanent position makes me feel like an even bigger part of the team and having more responsibilities with 100% focused time on work feels as though I’m contributing more to the company. With all my time fixated on work, I feel there’s more opportunity to develop within my role and the company in general.

Also I’ve created great working relationships with the co-workers in my office so I’m really glad to know it’s confirmed that I’ll continuing to work with them moving forward, as they have all been a huge part of my working journey so far.