‘I wasn’t ready to start my career yet – I wanted to learn more’
For many, the lockdown period during the pandemic provided an opportunity for people to indulge in their passions or to pick up a new interest – which was just the case for 19-year-old Olivia. Spending all her time cooking for her family during this period, they encouraged her to continue this as a career, and soon enough, after getting her application in for our Level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship, Olivia was accepted onto the course, where she currently works at the Akeman Inn, a branch of the Oakman Inns.
During the summertime after I had just finished my A Levels, I realised that I wasn’t ready to start my career properly yet – I had an innate feeling that I just wanted to learn more and expand my knowledge. I had the option to continue studying at university, but I decided that it wasn’t for me, and instead that I wanted to start anew. I got my application in for the Commis Chef apprenticeship pathway and within 2 weeks I had been accepted onto the course. It really was a miracle!
The support system I’ve built during my studies so far is fantastic. No matter the situation, I have got a friend in everyone I work with. I struggled at the beginning to see past this and used to look at myself as ‘just an apprentice’ and assumed I would be treated differently, but it was in fact the opposite. We are all treated equally.
The biggest obstacle I’ve had to handle during my apprenticeship so far is time. You will find that with this industry, time does just fly by, and you can get caught up in it, but every day is still different. The time spent is not like a Groundhog Day where every day is the same over and over, it’s quite the opposite. I enjoy every second being with my work family and my family at home. You will always find spare time if you work with it well and use it wisely.
Throughout my apprenticeship, my teacher has been impeccable. I listen very carefully in everything I’m taught because I’m just so eager to know more. It’s hard to concentrate when your mind is racing with so many different things and new words and skills, but my lecturer has been able to guide me through this with a nice pace.
The best thing about each working day is that every team member puts in such hard work. We all work so well together, and we can talk to each other about how each one of us has developed and has worked around more tricky elements.
For those looking to study an apprenticeship, my advice would be to just to be confident in yourself. It’s a long and hard road otherwise. It’s also best to come into the industry with a goal so that you have something to aim for, for example, mine is to just be happy! It’s all about doing what you love, which is the only thing that will help your work move forward. Have a passion and demonstrate enthusiasm and be yourself!
Feel like an apprenticeship in hospitality could just be the course you’re looking for? Find out more about apprenticeships and how to get your application in here.