In support of National Apprenticeship Week, we have asked some of our apprentices to share their experiences of life as an apprentice at Shoosmiths.
Kayleigh Brooks, Executive Case Handler
Why did you apply for an apprenticeship at Shoosmiths?
I applied for an apprenticeship at Shoosmiths just after finishing my A Levels. I hadn't found a university course that really grabbed my interest (certainly not enough to spend £27,000 and 3 years on), and so was searching for an apprenticeship in order to gain experience in an office environment.
Sadly, a lot of the apprenticeships that I found were lower level apprenticeships, so I was very pleased when I discovered the level 4 course at Shoosmiths. Although I hadn't really heard of Shoosmiths, I found the information about the course exciting. I had never considered a career in Law before because I thought it would be very serious and stuffy and I didn't know that there were alternative methods of getting into Law other than the university route.
I thought Law would be the challenge I needed and an exciting area to get into.
How did you find the application / interview process?
I found the process nerve racking at first because I hadn't researched the course sufficiently. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to do some more research and, after a telephone interview, I was very excited to be offered the role.
In hindsight (and having now been involved in the interview process), there is certainly a lot that I would do differently - for a start, fully doing my research!
How did it feel when you found out that you got the offer?
How do you find it to balance working and studying?
Finding the balance was really difficult at first but as long as you are organised, stay on top of your deadlines and fully utilise your study time then it's perfectly manageable.
The initial adjustment is particularly hard if you have never worked in a full-time job before because you have to get used to working office hours in addition to studying.
What's the best thing about working here?
Apprentices aren't treated differently to other case handlers. The working environment is relaxed and you don't feel younger than anyone else (the age demographic on my floor is fairly young).
The other staff members, including senior ones, have all been very trusting and supportive of me, both throughout my apprenticeship and now. I have been given so many opportunities that I don't think I would have had anywhere else.
What are your ambitions for the future?
To continue to progress in my department - I have progressed through 3 different roles in the past year or so and am excited about the opportunities for further progression in the future.
I have taken a break from studying for the moment, however, I may look into returning to this in the future.