We are thrilled that Rezwan, our Business Administrator, has completed his Business and Administration Apprenticeship this month with Creative Alliance. Here, Rezwan shares the highlights from his experience as an apprentice at Oriel Square. Read more about Vocational Qualifications in our blog.
What did your apprenticeship involve?
My apprenticeship was a blend of assignments and mentoring, alongside hands-on experience. During my apprenticeship, I met weekly with my mentor, Jane. Jane was my one-to-one teacher and ran me through the criteria for the apprenticeship, teaching me new concepts and helping me prepare for my end-point assessments. It was great to have both a mentor and teacher during the apprenticeship, as well as support from my manager and the team at Oriel Square.
My portfolio was a key part of completing my apprenticeship. It consisted of assignments and a log of over 450 hours of what I had learnt and accomplished. Alongside this, I completed three assessments, sat a multiple-choice exam, gave a presentation under exam conditions and was interviewed on my portfolio, which I did great on!
What skills have you gained?
Being part of an experienced team at Oriel Square meant I had the opportunity to learn from everyone around me and was exposed to a number of different projects. Projects ranged from strategic consultancy, to developing content for a digital platform, to producing a full set of classroom resources. As a result, I gained skills in strategy, communications and operations. Most recently I developed my understanding of sales and marketing communications and how to approach different stakeholders.
What training sessions did you get to attend during your apprenticeship?
While the entirety of the study component of my apprenticeship was done virtually, I was able to attend a number of courses to improve my employability such as Google Workspace Certifications. These were particularly relevant to my role at Oriel Square, a Google Cloud-based company. The courses gave me a foundation to build on in practice.
During my apprenticeship I completed the BKSB Functional Skills courses covering English and Maths. I also completed IQ tests and attended seminars from experts on different business practices.
What’s been the most enjoyable part of your apprenticeship?
The most enjoyable part of my apprenticeship was experiencing the different areas of business and being given so much responsibility at Oriel Square. I developed a good understanding of company operations and experienced first-hand good business practices that promote a positive work culture. Working in a B2B business allowed me to see a side to business that I’d never been exposed to before.
What have you found most interesting?
Most recently I have learnt about reconciliation and how our accounts are used to organise our spending. This has given me an internal perspective on how Oriel Square handles VAT and business expenses as well as how salaries and overheads are factored into our financial statements. It’s interesting to see how a company organises accounts internally and to gain insight into a side of business administration I haven’t seen before.
What systems have you learned to use at work?
One of my key responsibilities is to prepare sales data for reporting using CRM software. Through this, I’ve learnt how to use CRM to track and report on key business metrics.
As well as CRM software, I became well acquainted with our accounting system and learnt how to track business expenditures and solve problems. Being responsible for invoicing has taught me the importance of accuracy when using financial services; it’s also shown me the importance of internal communication when dealing with queries. The responsibility I’ve been given at Oriel Square has helped me learn and grow as an apprentice quickly.
Which tools help you at work?
As Oriel Square is a four-day week employer, feeling productive at work is essential for our team. During my apprenticeship, I was introduced to a number of tools which help me organise my work effectively. Trello helps me manage my time and workload and allows me to prioritise tasks – a great tool, especially during busy weeks! One way in which I have learnt to prioritise tasks during those busy weeks is to use Eisenhower’s Matrix, applying priority levels to tasks in Trello.
I became well acquainted with the multi-functional uses of Google Suite and enjoy using its tools for collaboration.
Do you have any tips for people thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is great for those who are interested in maximising their personal development whilst working and earning a salary. Having both an educational and hands-on experience allowed me to understand and contextualise the challenges that can be faced within businesses while using the skills I’d been taught and the knowledge I had gained.
The apprenticeship has set me up with key business skills that I will be able to develop further in any role I pursue and it was great to earn at the same time as learning. Being from a disadvantaged background, an apprenticeship allowed me to support my family while also acquiring key qualifications which will serve me well in future.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role?
I’m excited to grow in my new role at Oriel Square and continue to learn across the business whilst building on the skills I gained as an apprentice. I’ve gained valuable insight into business operations, systems and communications and I’m excited to keep on learning!
Look back at our careers page to find out more about opportunities with Oriel Square.