#InspiringApprentice Aimee Rodgers says her team are her second family and she is ‘overwhelmed with love and support’

I am Aimee Beth Rodgers, I am 23 and from Sittingbourne in Kent. I completed a level 3 business administration apprenticeship working for the Department for Education in the apprenticeships division in February 2019.

My school gave very little careers advice. Apprenticeships were never mentioned as at the time the focus was on A levels and university. Another educational route was not considered appropriate. I wish I had been made aware of the huge range of apprenticeships and the extraordinary levels available to everyone.

I first found out about an apprenticeship after visiting a “job shop” at my local college, where I was given not only educational advice but also careers advice. It was a real look into what I wanted for my future.

Expectations of apprenticeships

My expectations of an apprenticeship were not too far from a typical office job. Lots of admin and tea duties – I can wholeheartedly say that this is not the case.

My apprenticeship has not only exceeded expectations but has pushed me to meet life goals years in advance. Never did I think that I would have the responsibilities that I do or that I would have my opinion heard in such a way. My apprenticeship, amongst everything else, has been extremely validating.

My day-to-day activities include supporting some of the country’s most successful and influential business people, working with marketing colleagues to create new resources, feeding into projects such as annual conferences, and creating an online presence and leading on my team’s finances.

My job means the world to me. The challenges I have overcome and the achievements I have made in not only my career but also in my adult life are all down to the amazing teachings in my workplace.

My team are my second family and I am overwhelmed with the love and support I receive on a daily basis. They push me to succeed and expose me to all kinds of amazing opportunities. I have never once been viewed as anything less than an equal. I am always reminded that I have a voice, and having the opportunity to be heard is truly exceptional.

The most enjoyable part of my job is having the opportunity to meet inspiring and influential people, regularly visiting Parliament and having the creative freedom to lead on a subject.

Like no other educational choice

The independence you receive as an apprentice will compare to no other educational choice. Not having to worry about the financial aspect of studying was one of my biggest draws. To be able to roll studying and work into one manageable category allows me to have a healthy work-life balance.

My family was fully supportive of the route I chose for my education. Being such an independent teenager, my parents were worried I would stop studying to work. I’ve exceeded their expectations of what I could achieve in my career at such a young age, all whilst continuing my education.

As I grow in my career, my apprenticeship will grow with me. I intend to continue an apprenticeship until I reach the very highest point education has to offer. On my journey up I aim to inspire those looking for a truly exceptional way of learning.

I don’t know where I am going to be in 10 years’ time, and that is the beauty of apprenticeships. As I learn and adapt, so will my educational needs. Apprenticeships offer everyone the flexibility to grow in their career without sheltering them from the many opportunities in life.

Aimee Rodgers completed a level 3 business administration apprenticeship at the Department for Education’s apprenticeship division. She tells her story as part of the Tes’ #InspiringApprentices campaign.

This article was originally published on TES, you can read it here.