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Project Management apprentice

“I was doing my A Levels and, like a lot of people, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was just completely in the dark. I might have had a few rough ideas – maybe going down an accounting route, for instance – but it just didn’t really seem for me. I wasn’t convinced. Then I spoke to my careers advisor at school and she mentioned FCDO Services. The variety of it sounded great – and the travel aspect was appealing too.

My manager would explain to me what he was doing; the process behind everything.

For the first couple of months here, it was all about just getting used to it all; asking all the questions I needed to; getting all the mandatory training. My manager would explain to me what he was doing; the process behind everything, and when he was going to meetings with suppliers, he’d take me with him to get a real understanding. 

Once I’d completed the initial training, that was when I got to get my teeth stuck into it, and my first project of my own was organising delivery of four laptops to a government customer in Sierra Leone. It went really smoothly, thanks to all the training I’d had, and then it was just onto the next challenge, and another one, and another one. Even though I’m an apprentice, I get a lot of work, with real variety and responsibility.

The work is so satisfying, I think. When you finally hand over the keys, so to speak, when you get to the end of a piece of work, you really get a lot of pride from it. Plus, you’re involved with so many people over the course of each project, it means you get to engage with all kinds of colleagues. You can just go and speak to people, learn from them, and you’re not sitting at your desk all day.

The work is so satisfying, I think. When you finally hand over the keys, so to speak, when you get to the end of a piece of work, you really get a lot of pride from it.

Then you’ve also got the studying aspect of your apprenticeship. I have two days a month where I go to college and study Project Management and Agile Project Management. If there’s any other training you want to do, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue that too.”