Who is better to learn from than those who have had years of experience in the industry and in the field of your apprenticeship? In my experience, these people are more than happy to share their knowledge and support you in both your academic studies and your industry knowledge. Learning from the best! There is also an element of you teaching others around you; from new knowledge you gain or something you research during your studies that might be applicable to your industry. All through my apprenticeship, each person who was an expert in their field who I met at Mondelez International was more than willing to pass their knowledge onto me; this accelerated my growth within the business.
Gaining theoretical knowledge from studying is important and gives you a broad foundation of knowledge, but understanding how this applies in real life in the workplace and why it matters, brings a new depth to it, and helps you to remember more. Throughout my apprenticeship, I saw time and time again how something I had learnt in my studies was done at my workplace, the importance of it in a real application but also occasionally how reality differed from the theoretical (because each industry may do things slightly differently). As someone who has realised that they value practical elements of learning as well as theory, an apprenticeship worked well for me and my learning style.
Not all of an apprenticeship is around the technical knowledge you gain both in and out of the workplace, but a large part is about developing personally within a workplace. Throughout my apprenticeship, there were areas where I saw significant personal growth, including growing in self-confidence, learning to deal with conflict, and understanding different working relationships amongst others. There are lots of experiences that you become exposed to within the workplace that help you develop and grow. Within Mondelez International, developing personally is made a priority and therefore being able to identify areas where you want to grow, and work with your managers and mentors to seek to ways to develop in these areas is encouraged.
You might believe that being an apprentice means that you don’t get given lots of responsibility on projects or tracks of work to own. However, in my time as apprentice, I was given various responsibilities, projects to work on and tracks of work to lead. This meant I had a purpose and was accountable for my work and felt valued within the company. Also, each project makes a difference to the company and as a result, has an impact on the wider food industry - either through new products to delight consumers, or making our processes more sustainable - what an exciting industry to be in!
One benefit of an apprenticeship that most people will pick up on is the benefit of being paid and earning a wage for the work you do whilst studying and gaining experience. After the completion of a Level 3 and Level 6 apprenticeship, I had been working for 6 years at Mondelez International and gained a lot of experience which sets me in a good place for my future career. Had I have gone down the more traditional A-level and then university route, I would have my degree but little to no industry experience. Being paid whilst you learn also puts you in a position to manage money and save for the future.
For more apprenticeship and careers advice, click here to go to our Careers in Food area.
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