Apprentice of the Month - August
Our Apprentice of the month is Gabby. She is an Account Manager at FE Fundinfo. FE Fundinfo is a fund data provider and technology leader. They facilitate more efficient investing by connecting fund managers and fund distributors on a global scale. They also enable their clients to share and act on trusted, insightful information to make more informed investment decisions.
Gabby is completing the Pareto IT Technical Sales Level 3 Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship allows the learners to stay on top of trends in tech and give them the tools and knowledge they need to excel in this competitive industry.
Why did you decide to go ahead with the apprenticeship programme?
When I was offered a role at FE Fundinfo I was so pleased. One of the deciding factors in accepting the role was that the apprenticeship was on offer. Previously an apprenticeship wasn’t something that I had considered in a new role but the addition of the apprenticeship was of great benefit both to me and to the organisation.
What areas of development did you see the programme meeting for you within your role/responsibilities from where you started?
I found the apprenticeship really helpful in establishing my skillset within Account Management. It has been a great help in supporting me through my first eight months in the position. The course has helped me provide a good knowledge base for the role. My most enjoyable part so far has been the Sales Fundamentals modules, especially learning about different personality types and the ways in which you can adapt your communication styles to suit these.
What were your perceptions of doing an apprenticeship before starting on this journey?
My initial perceptions were positive, although I was a bit confused as to why I would need an additional qualification when I already had my degree, not quite understanding how the structure of the course would benefit me. But via the insight and experience gained, I can now understand how is tailored to my role within the company.
How have apprenticeships changed since starting the course?
I can now see how Apprenticeships have transitioned and become much more accessible to people working across various different sectors and of many different ages/career stages. My COO asked me and the other delegates to give a presentation to the entire commercial team, detailing the apprenticeship and why they would benefit from the standard. Pareto really helped with this in terms of research, providing a host of onboarding information and information/starter packs. The course has proved to be a lot more work than I originally understood there to be, however, I feel very supported by both my manager and skills coach in enabling me to complete it.
What have been your biggest learning points from the course?
My OTJ learning has been a really effective tool for me in that logging this and writing up about my skills has given me the ability to reflect and really maximise my learning. It has been a good method of reflection and also given me a chance to revisit some of my learning and really internalize it. It has really improved my self-awareness and understanding of my on the job performance and achievements.
How would you describe your experience of doing this qualification?
I have felt both challenged and supported. The apprenticeship has been a lot of fun so far, and a great team bonding experience. I have enjoyed the experience of working with other companies also on training days as this has given me insight from other learners within a similar role at other companies. I am so grateful to Pareto for this as I wouldn’t get this exposure without the programme.
What impact has the course made on your development and career?
This course is really helping me so far in terms of the techniques I have learnt. I make sure I consciously implement these every day in my role and I feel that the training is really improving my interaction with clients.
What impact has the course made to your confidence?
I have always been really confident, however, I feel the apprenticeship standard provides me with good sector knowledge which can facilitate my conversations/interactions on a daily basis.
Having completed/once you complete the course, what is next for you?
I am definitely looking towards my first progression route within the company and I have had the initial conversations about what this looks like. My team currently manages up to 600 clients. This will decrease to enable me to focus on the assigned relationships and concentrate time and effort on relationship maintenance and development. I have a more natural affinity with Account Management than new business.
What advice would you give to anyone else thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
It is really important to have a full understanding of the workload, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the expectations in fulfilling your sales role in order to determine whether this is a commitment that you are capable of making. If you decide this is for you, make sure to be fully committed and ensure that you see it through to the end! It will be worth your while.