Written on: 11 August 2022
Written by: Baltic Apprenticeships
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Welcome back to our Meet the Champion blog! This week, we're introducing Fraser, one of our IT specialists on the Baltic Champions team.
Fraser is completing his Level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship while working as an IT Technician in Secondary Schools.
We caught up with Fraser to share his experiences as an IT apprentice with Baltic, the catalyst to kickstart his career in tech, and his top tips for apprentices just getting started in their role.
When I left school, I originally wanted to join the armed forces and become a part of the Intelligence Corps. I spent weekends and evenings training for this goal, but unfortunately I was unable to join due to my medical history.
Throughout the lockdowns I was working as a front of house supervisor in a restaurant. Fortunately, I was able to keep working during lockdown doing food deliveries for people staying at home. This work was good to keep me going, but after three years of service the time was right for me to move on. I’d been applying for jobs for four months with no leads, feeling stuck in my four walls at home.
IT has always been something I have been interested in and – more importantly – enjoyed. I studied it at GCSE and A-Level, coming away with strong results. Despite all the changes in the world, it’s always going to be a job where I have security. Technology is growing and will always be required.
I attended an interview and was employed as an apprentice in a school IT team. This was a big moment in my life which turned things around instantly: I had a challenge ahead and something to focus on with the Level 3 Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship.
I'm so happy in the job I am working in, and I'm very pleased it came to me when it did.
I was applying for apprenticeships as they are a great career opportunity for anyone looking for a change or start in their career.
The idea of learning on the job stood out for me; I was looking for higher level qualifications, but decided university wasn't for me. I took inspiration from my brother who did an apprenticeship. This shone a light on the advantages and helped me decide.
The main attraction of an apprenticeship is the opportunity to gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. Most alternatives offer theory with no practical elements; but on an apprenticeship you are learning on the job and instantly seeing the impact in an operating environment.
I would 100% recommend an apprenticeships to anyone looking for the next step in their career. I managed to gain five professional certificates and completed my apprenticeship with a Distinction, which I was so pleased with.
All expenses and training was covered by my employer, leaving me debt free with professional qualifications.
The highlight for me so far has been completing my Level 3 apprenticeship to Distinction level, which resulted in me being promoted to an IT Technician. This is something that I was proud of and it has given me a massive confidence boost.
As a whole, my greatest achievement is getting to where I am today with my personal and professional development. For my age, I feel I have achieved a lot and positively look forward to what I can achieve next. I feel highly valued by the staff and have developed strong professional relationships.
Time management. You have your whole life ahead of you to concentrate on different things and develop new skills; but now is for focusing on the foundations to your career ladder. Make these as strong as possible and the ladder will build itself.
Time management is one of the most important things to being successful. I'm sometimes guilty of saying yes to too many things and over-exhausting myself, allowing no time for movement in my plans. But I came to realise the that most valuable thing is time to yourself - to rest and refocus. Take that minute to breathe and take in what's happening.
Focus on the apprenticeship, and give it 100%. Once you've completed that, the sky's the limit...
If you're interested in following in Fraser's footsteps and kickstarting your career with an IT apprenticeship, take a look at our Level 3 IT Support and IT Network Technician apprenticeship programmes.
If you're a Baltic apprentice and want to learn more about the Champions programme - and let's face it, why wouldn't you? - check out our Baltic Champions Scheme and get involved in the latest events, activities, and opportunities to share your story.