Meet the apprentice: Q&A with Liam Watson

Author
Jennifer Rollason
Marketing Executive | Business West
13th September 2018

Liam is an apprentice project administrator for the Enterprise team at Business West. We spoke to Liam about his experience so far.

How did you choose your apprenticeship? 

When I received my A-level results I had no idea which path I wanted to take, there are so many options to choose from! I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship that was business focused as I’d studied AS Business at college and really enjoyed it. My interest in this area started early, my parents had their own business and seeing behind the scenes gave me an insight into what is involved in the day-to-day running of a business, so I began to look for apprenticeships in this field. I stumbled across the project administrator apprenticeship with Business West and knew instantly that it would be a great opportunity. 

Tell us more about the Enterprise team and your role.

I work in the Enterprise office on the Scale-up Coaching Grants and the High Impact Scale-up Coaching Grants. My role is a project administration apprentice and I help co-ordinate the processes of these programmes from dealing with queries, assisting with funding claims, and monitoring outputs. My role is varied, from going to events and networking to quarterly consortium meetings with external partners. This is something that I wanted to do from day one, because by experiencing as much as possible I can know for sure which aspects of business I prefer. 

What was your first week like?

In my first week I really didn’t know what to expect, like any new job you go into, but my team and other colleagues were so friendly and welcomed me with a smile. Now I’m four months into my apprenticeship I can say that I have learned so much, especially about the ERDF funded projects and other business support programmes Business West offers.

What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learnt?

I’ve learnt a lot of useful skills, like in depth excel knowledge and how to read a business balance sheet. I could list all the skills I’ve learnt so far but this will be far too long! Saying that, I’m so overwhelmed with how much I have learnt since arriving here, it really makes me realise that this what a right path for me as I’m getting on the job experience whilst also studying for further qualifications. 

Do you have any advice for would-be apprentices?

Already on this apprenticeship I have learnt so much about myself that I never knew before. I love talking to businesses at events and understanding what help they might need, but ask me a year ago and I would’ve said I didn’t have the confidence to do this. I want say to anyone that is new to a business, especially an apprentice, that I recommend to throw yourself into everything you can get access to, even if you think you might not be comfortable or confident enough just go for it because you’ll have no regrets. This way you will for sure learn something about yourself, but this will also give you a range of experience for the future. 

It sounds like you’ve found the experience invaluable, would you recommend it to others?

I highly recommend doing an apprenticeship, whether here at Business West or another business you’re interested in. Regardless of the course or place of work I think that an apprenticeship is a great opportunity for an amazing starting point in your career as it opens up a load of gateways for the future. I can honestly say that I don’t regret my decision and I’m very excited to see where it will lead. 

 

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